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Know the rules to vote on Election Day

Angela James and Marian Schneider | 10/31/2014, 4:47 p.m.
When other Virginia voters arrive at their polling places on Nov. 4, many may be shocked to learn that they ...

So do all that you can now to get prepared to vote.

You also should know that a coalition of organizations is dedicated to making sure you and every eligible American can cast a ballot. If your right to vote is challenged in any way, call (866) OUR-VOTE to immediately connect with lawyers and trained staff who are standing by to assist you.

While it is supposed to be the job of elected officials to clear barriers to the ballot box, and ensure that elections are free, fair and accessible for all voters, the Virginia General Assembly has done precisely the opposite with Virginia’s voter ID law. By making it harder to vote, Virginia politicians are manipulating the rules for their own political gain.  But don’t let them discourage you.

Your vote is your voice. It is your right as a citizen, and it matters. It lets you join your friends and family in standing up for solutions to problems in your community and around the nation. Don’t allow Virginia’s photo ID law to silence you.

When you understand the new rules and know your rights, you can be empowered Nov. 4 by walking into the voting booth and making your voice heard.

Angela James is director of Gamaliel in Virginia and director of Empower Hampton Roads, faith-based, multi-issue organizations that challenge unjust policies and strive to improve the quality of life for all citizens.

Marian Schneider is a senior attorney for Advancement Project, a multiracial national civil rights that has worked on voting rights issues in Virginia for more than a decade.