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One Week and Counting: Tips for Voters on Election Day

October 28, 2008

Harrisburg, PA - There's just one week left until Election Day, and a local election watchdog has some advice to help make Pennsylvanians' trip to the polls go smoothly. Barry Kauffman is the executive director of Common Cause Pennsylvania. He says rule number one is to never leave your polling place without voting, no matter what anyone tells you.

"If the machines are down, demand an emergency ballot. Don't leave without voting. If they don't have your name on the voting list, demand a provisional ballot and make sure you vote before you leave."

For example, says Kauffman, college students need to know that they can vote at their college address if they're registered to vote there.

"If they're harassed by people saying they're going to lose their financial aid if they try to vote at college, that's not true."

Kauffman says a special hotline is open at 1-866-OUR-VOTE to answer questions and address concerns.

"It will have people on hand to help people find out where they're supposed to vote. If there are severe problems, such as people being harassed or told they can vote on Wednesday instead of Tuesday, there will be lawyers on hand to help them out as well."

In Pennsylvania, today (Tuesday, Oct. 28) is the deadline to get an application to vote absentee. Kauffmann says absentee ballots must be received by county election offices by Halloween. Pennsylvania voter information is available online from the state at

Eric Mack/Kevin Clay, Public News Service - PA