Voting, if you have never done it before, can be confusing. Here’s an easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide for new voters. If you have any questions, contact the Election Commission or ask a poll worker on Election Day. Voting is a wonderful privilege and should be easy, so never hesitate to ask questions.
Step 1 - Register
Before you can vote, you must register. You can register by visiting the Election Commission Office, any public library, or the Department of Motor Vehicles. You can also download a form from our website and mail it to us. There are specific deadlines to register prior to each election, so be sure to visit our website or call our office to ensure you are registered in time.
Step 2 - Vote Early
You can vote prior to Election Day. You can vote in person at the Election Commission Office, you can ask a friend, neighbor, or family member to pick up a ballot for you at our office, or you can request that a ballot be mailed to you.
Beginning 35 days prior to Election Day and ending on the day before the election, you can visit our office and vote in person from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. You may also have someone act as an "agent," who can pick up a ballot for you from our office.
If you would like to have a ballot mailed to you, simply send a request in writing to our office. You may use the form on our website or you can send in a regular piece of paper. Just make sure you send your name, address where you are registered, your date of birth, political party affiliation, and the address you would like the ballot mailed to (if different from your registered address). You must also sign the request.
Requests for an early voting ballot cannot be made over the phone or by email; however, they can be faxed to our office. Again, there are deadlines prior to each election, so make sure you check our website or call our office to make sure your request is made in time.
Step 3 - Vote At The Polls
Douglas County is divided into precincts, and each precinct votes at a polling place. There are polling places located throughout the county. When you register to vote, you will receive a Voter Information Card which will tell you where you vote on Election Day and which political districts you live in.
On Election Day, the polls are open from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. If you do not have your Voter Information Card, and you do not remember where to vote, you can call the Election Commission and we will be happy to assist you. You can also get this information from our website on your web-enabled mobile phone.
If you end up in the wrong polling place, ask a poll worker for help. Each of them will have a map of all polling places in the county and will be able to direct you to your proper polling place. You must vote at the correct polling place, because each precinct receives a different ballot.
Once you arrive at your polling place, voting is straightforward:
- Find The Sign-In Table – You will see a group of poll workers sitting at a table with several books in front of them. Approach them and tell them your name and address. They will find your information and have you sign into the book, stating that you are voting today.
- Receive Your Ballot – The poll workers will find your ballot, based on where you live, and give it and a plastic privacy sleeve to you. Take both to a nearby voting booth.
- Vote Your Ballot – Make sure you follow the instructions on the ballot. If you have questions on how to mark your ballot properly, ask a poll worker. If you make a mistake and need a new ballot, write "VOID" across your ballot, fold it in half, and return it to the poll workers. They will give you a new ballot.
- Return Your Ballot – Place your voted ballot in the privacy sleeve and return it to the poll workers. They will place your ballot into the ballot box for you.
That’s it. You’ve now voted and are ready for the next election. If you have any questions or problems, please feel free to contact us.
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