Voter’s Guide: What To Know Before Hitting The Polls

Voting can be nerve-wracking.Whether you’re voting for the first time or returning to the polls following a hiatus, the process can be overwhelming. To ensure you’re ready to go out and fulfill your 26th amendment right, BIN has put together a checklist of items to prepare you to hit the polls with confidence, whether for the first time or once again.

Keep scrolling to check out what to know before hitting the polls!

Voting box and election image,election
Photo: Getty Images

Make sure you’re registered to vote.

Check your voter registration status. Complete a simple search online to find out if you’re eligible to vote by heading to

Make sure you have proper identification.

Don’t show up to the polls empty-handed. Come prepared with your approved, unexpired government state ID, licenses, or passport. If you find that your credentials aren’t up to date, head over to your local DMVs website to make an appointment. If you live in any of the following states: California, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, and others, you may be able to take advantage of online renewal systems.

Find your polling location.

Now, locate the appropriate polling place according to your residence. Unhoused persons have equal rights to vote so long as they are US citizens, age 18 and above, and have proper identification or, in some cases, the last four of their social security numbers. This will vary from state to state, so do your research to avoid unnecessary trips.

Make sure you have what you need to wait in line to vote.

Now that you’ve got tedious parts of the preparation for voting out of the way, it’s time to ensure you have everything you need to sustain your needs the day of. If you’re heading to your registered polling place, understand that voting day will be extremely busy. There are aids nearby to assist in the organization of the line.

The line can take hours, so be sure to wear your most comfortable shoes. It’s best to bring fruit, water, and or snacks, and an N95 mask if you prefer a sort of barrier in closed or crowded spaces. You may want to shield yourself from the heat of the sun, be sure to pack sunglasses, a hat, sunscreen that protects against UVB and UVA rays, and a hydrating drink. 

If you requested to vote by absentee voting but made it to the polls anyway, you’re able to vote in person using an affidavit in some states.  

Photo: Getty Images

Running through this checklist will ensure your voting process is as seamless as possible. It’s not so difficult once you’ve broken down the essential steps. Remember, ensure your registration status now, make sure you have proper identification by your state’s laws, and locate your polling place. Lastly, prepare for the day by bringing the necessary supplies to satiate your personal needs.

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