As Nov. 6 approaches, many of us are trying to decide which candidates we want to elect. Several local seats are up for grabs, and – of course -- the top prize this year: the presidency!
But before you vote, you might want to make sure you have all the tools you need to make an educated decision.
The League of Women Voters of the Calumet Area would like to help you be ready when you go to your polling place in November.
First, check your registration. Tuesday is the last day you can register to vote in November.
The most common problem voters have is when they have moved but forgot to inform the election board. Are you registered at the correct address? If you have changed your name through marriage, divorce or other reason, you will want to update your voter registration before you vote.
If you have not voted in five years or more, you might be expunged and need to re-register. To find out, go to www.in.gov and select “Voter Registration System” under “I am a resident.” On this site, you can confirm your registration, and you can register online if you are not already registered.
When you get ready to decide who will get your vote, you can check the campaign finance reports for the state candidates at that web site as well.
Start with www.lwvcalumet.org for the campaign finance reports for local candidates, committees and political action committees. We get the reports from the Lake County Election Board and post them on our website as they are received.
We encourage you to see who finances our local candidates so you can make a more informed choice on Election Day.
For more information about the candidates you will elect, check www.vote411.org. Enter your street address and ZIP code. You will get a list of your districts for each election division -- state, county, U.S. Congress, state House and Senate district, city and school district. Vote411.org also has registration deadlines, ID requirements, absentee ballot information, an online tool to help voters register to vote, upcoming League of Women Voters debates/forums, and much more for all 50 states.
When the voter guides are completed, you will be able to “build my ballot” with a listing of all of the races which will appear on your ballot in November.
If you have voter registration questions, call the Indiana Election Division at (866) IN-1-VOTE.
On Election Day, Nov. 6, when you go to vote, remember your state-issued photo ID. A school ID is not acceptable. The ID must be state-issued and have an expiration date in the future.
Also, when you go to the polls, take the phone numbers below with you. If you have any problems, contact one of these hotlines:
(866) MYVOTE1 (866-698-6831)
(866) OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683)
(888) VE-Y-VOTA (en Español – 888-839-8682)
The Lake County Election Board phone number is (219) 755-3467.
If you are not allowed to vote, the inspector at your precinct will give you a provisional ballot to complete, and it will be filed with the other votes. Call one of the hotline numbers if you are refused a provisional ballot.
Nov. 6 is Election Day. Remember to exercise your rights and vote!
Linda Trinkle is president of the League of Women Voters of the Calumet Area. The opinion expressed in this column is the writer's and not necessarily that of The Times.