Voting 101: What you need to know Nov. 4

Q: How do I know if I'm registered to vote?

A: To make sure you are registered. Visit It will direct you to the registration rolls in your county to make sure you haven't been purged. It also will tell you which polling place to go to.

Q: Can I take off work to vote?

A: Most states require employers to provide time for employees to vote on Election Day. While these laws vary in each state, they generally require employers to give employees time off to vote if the polls aren't open two or three hours outside of the employee's regular shift.

Some states require that employers pay employees for time off while they are voting, while others require employees to request time off from their employers in advance.

Q: What should I do if I go to vote and my name is not on the list? A: In many, but not all states, you can ask for a provisional ballot. If you forget your ID and can't get home in time to get it, or you aren't registered for some reason, then you can cast a provisional ballot and argue about it after the election.

Q: Can wearing a T-shirt with a candidate's likeness prevent me from voting?

A: It's a first amendment freedom of speech question. Obviously, you can't campaign for a candidate inside the polls or within a certain number of feet in most states. And the problem is that some states have indeed interpreted that wearing of campaign paraphernalia as being electioneering or campaigning.

To be safe you shouldn't wear your campaign stuff when you go to vote.

Q: If I am still in line when the polls close, will I be able to get in to vote?

A: If you are in line when the polls close, then you vote. They can't slam the door in your face.

Q: Do you have to have proof of residency in the state you are voting in?

A: You should bring a photo ID like a driver's license or state issued ID, which are best. Seven states want it and the others will accept alternate photo ids or forms of identification.

Note: Beware of false flyers like one in Virginia telling voters that because of high turnout Republicans will vote Tuesday and Democrats Wednesday.

Also watch out for inaccurate e-mails out there like one going around telling Barack Obama voters that for their vote to count, after they vote for him they then have to vote straight Democratic on the ballot.

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