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What to Expect... When You Vote in the Polling Place

Every Election Year, you have the opportunity to vote in both primary elections to choose your party's nominees, and then the general election in November. U.S. Vote Foundation (US Vote) maintains a comprehensive list of all upcoming elections in our Election Dates and Deadlines calendar, by state.

There are lots of different ways to cast a ballot. Many voters will decide to vote-by-mail, either by completing and returning a ballot automatically sent to you or after you've submitted an absentee ballot request to your local election office. Absentee voting, or vote-by-mail, is a convenient option, especially if you have health concerns or don’t want to wait in line on Election Day.

But many voters prefer the feeling of walking into a polling place, physically submitting or scanning a ballot, and getting an “I Voted!” sticker, which you can be proud to wear.

For voters who wish to vote in person, here's a list of what to expect at the polling place.

Voting While Trans: What You Need to Know to Cast Your Ballot

A truly representative democracy requires all American citizens to express their voices through their ballots. While it can be exciting to cast a vote, anyone intent on making their preferences heard in the electoral process must fulfill a few steps and make a plan – to successfully vote in the 2022 primary and general elections. For some transgender persons, it can feel even a bit more complicated than that.

  • What documents do I need?
  • Are my records up to date?
  • Does the name on my registration record match up with what’s on my ID?
  • What about the listed gender on my paperwork?

On top of all that, some trans voters may feel wary facing poll workers who ask lots of questions or examine an ID card for too long. The experience may seem especially daunting if this is the first time voting since making the transition from one gender to another. Below, we provide a step-by-step guide to make sure you’re adequately prepared.

Election Integrity Special: The Bipartisan Policy Center Explains Vote Counting

Introductory Comment:
The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) states that "Free and fair elections are critical to the health of democracy, and voting is the most important expression of a citizen’s democratic rights." Here at U.S. Vote Foundation, we could not agree with them more! The work of the BPC covers Election Integrity and many policy areas. Within their Elections initiative, a core activity is the creation of "Explainers." Here is one such Explainer, reprinted in full, which BPC titled:

Bipartisan Policy Center Explainer on Ballot Tabulation


Unfounded concerns about the integrity of the 2020 election have spiraled into a crisis of confidence in our nation’s core election infrastructure. Over the past two years, this has taken the form of personal threats to election officials’ physical safety, a proliferation of unofficial audits, a concentration of state legislatures’ authority to usurp election results, and, most recently, an attempt to move to entirely hand counted elections.

At least six states and dozens of local jurisdictions have introduced legislation to outlaw the use of ballot tabulators. These actions are based on the false premise that hand counts are the optimal way to ensure accurate results. In truth, tabulators have higher accuracy rates than hand counts, are the key to expedient results on election night, and reduce resource demands on local governments.

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Press Releases

U.S. Vote Foundation Releases 2020 Election Day Voter Experience Study and Policy Perspective

Voters’ High Satisfaction with their Voting Experience Contrasts Sharply with their Sentiments about Election Integrity and the US Electoral System

February 23, 2021, WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Vote Foundation (US Vote) and Overseas Vote published two documents: 1) the 2020 Election Day Voter Experience Study (the Study); and 2) a Policy Perspective: Reflections on the US Vote 2020 Election Day Voter Experience Study and the For The People Act.

The Study’s results – based on a survey of 15,495 voters – showcase the overwhelming success of the overall election process and the reforms of 2020 that were implemented as a result of the pandemic. That success, which led to the highest voter turnout in modern times, took place despite the myriad obstacles voters faced in the primaries and the General Election.

The resulting turnout and positive voter sentiment captured by the Study highlight the need to solidify these reforms as permanent and to continue the non-partisan efforts of US Vote to expand voter access.

Voters in 21 States Can Register and Vote on Election Day

U.S. Vote Foundation Calls on Local and State Media to Broadcast Election Day Registration and Voting Option

WASHINGTON, D.C. November 2, 2020 – U.S. Vote Foundation today released a comprehensive list of the 21 states where unregistered voters can still exercise their right to vote in tomorrow’s election. This includes swing states and others where close Senate and state races are underway. An estimated 13 million unregistered voters live in these states where on-site registration is available, and their participation could change the dynamic of the election.

Unregistered voters in eligible states can go to their polling place, clerk’s office, or other site designated by election officials to both register and vote on Election Day. Consult US Vote’s Election Day Registration and Voting chart for details.

View Your State Voting Requirements & Election Deadlines