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Ballot Condom for Safe Voting

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Protect the health of your democracy during this epidemic of stupidity, meanness, and misinformation. Follow these simple instructions:

Don't Just Pick and Lick!

If you decide to Go Postal and mail-in your ballot, make sure you follow your state's rules, no matter how berserk. That means getting a witness signature (Minnesota), notarization (Alabama), and sign the ballot and envelope twice if it says so; use the official envelope only; put on TWO stamps (Ohio). And include a copy of that special ID (Wisconsin).

Registration Investigation!

Think you're registered? This is America, Jack, not some democracy. Better check your registration again. Make sure you have not been purged, Crosschecked, made "inactive," or otherwise scammed out of your vote. You don't have to re-register if you've moved within your county -- but you're a fool if you don't. Why? You can't mail in your ballot, Homer, if you don't get it in the mail in the first place! D'oh!

Don't Get Spoiled Rotten!

Don't mark ballots with red pens, pencils, crayons, lipstick. Don't use an ├ ┼"╦ť, ├ ┼"", or ├ ╦ť ║, unless it says so. Fill in the bubble, Bob. If on a machine, check over your choices before you pull that final lever. If a punch-card, turn it over and scrape off the chads, Dad.

The Early Bird Throws Out the Worms!

Vote early. In-person when no one's around, weekdays if possible. Then, if they jacked with your registration, you may have time to fight. But beware "Souls to the Polls" Sunday: in states like Ohio, the lines will be hours long as the vote thieves launch their new weapons to block voters of color. If you are a voter of color or under 35, don't forget to take along photo ID and an experienced attorney.

Look Out for Tranquilizer Ballots!

The nice lady behind the counter will tell you your "provisional" ballot will count. Bullshit. Demand a real ballot from an election judge. If you must fill out that bogus bouncing ballot, make sure you fill in every line on the envelope with registration address, registration signature, and if no license, write "no license." If you need to return with an ID, do it and don't bellyache.

Act Out!

It's time to say basta! to mass purges, to voter ID rigmarole, to tossing out provisional ballots and to the entire lynching-by-laptop operation. And that means joining voting rights action groups such as Rainbow/PUSH. Whether you're a butcher, baker or mass tort litigation maker, we need you to cross The Bridge with us. I know you have a good excuse to do nothing, but I don't want to hear it.

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Greg Palast├ éČ ä s investigative reports appear in Rolling Stone, the Guardian and on BBC Television. His latest film, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, on how Donald Trump stole the 2016 election, is available on Amazon. Palast is Patron of the (more...)
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