Voting 101

Local residents and students attended a seminar hosted by HFCC and the Dearborn/Dearborn Heights Chapter of the League of Women Voters. Christina Sullivan-Rathwell and Betsy Cushman provided a very informative presentation regarding the upcoming election on November 6th, 2012. Mrs. Sullivan-Rathwell stated, “it’s a privilege and a responsibility to vote...”
Topics covered included how to vote, what to expect and provided resources for voters to obtain more information regarding the issues to be voted on. With voting and resources going digital, much more information can be easily obtained by the voter so he/she can learn more about the issues prior to casting their vote. As explained, sometimes voters don’t quite know what is on the ballot and attempt to make a decision while at the ballot box. This forces the voter to hurriedly make choices without thinking them through or discussing them with trusted friends or family. At this election, voters will have a two page ballot containing many different issues. Mrs. Cushman urges you research your choices prior to arrival to avoid delays and long lines.
For those who have never voted before, our presenters explained what to expect.When arriving at your voting place, be aware that campaigners and political activists will probably be on site, however they are required to be at least 150 feet away from the polls and should not harass you.
Step 1: Arrive at your voting location between 7am and 8pm on November 6th with government picture identification in hand. As you enter, provide your name, address, date of birth and present your photo ID. They will confirm your voting status, provide you with a ballot inside a manila folder and direct you to a small private stand up table to cast your ballot. If by chance your name is not listed, you can request a Provisional Ballot to cast your vote. Your ability to vote will be confirmed later and counted. Furthermore, if you forget your ID, you can request an Affidavit to sign but this should only be done as a last resort. Go prepared! If you need assistance at the polls, you can call 1-866-OUR-VOTE for help.
Step 2: Cast your ballot ensuring all choices are selected. Be aware that you do not have to make a choice for every item on the ballot. You can simply not vote on issues or individuals if you feel compelled to do so. After completing your choices, place the ballot back into the provided folder and make your way to the ballot machine. If you make a mistake on your ballot, take it back to a representative and request a new one.
Step 3: Upon arriving at the ballot machine, a representative should be present to help place your ballot in the machine.
Step 4: That’s it! You’re done and have exercised one of the most important duties you could perform as a citizen of the United States of America.
“Don’t give up your right to vote!”, said Mrs. Sullivan-Rathwell. If you missed this session, HFCC will offer two more voter education sessions to help voters as the 2012 Presidential Election draws near. These sessions are free, open to HFCC students, faculty, staff, as well as members of the community. The sessions will take place in Room C-119 of the Student Center on the following dates:
•        Wednesday, Oct. 17, at 1 p.m.; and
•        Wednesday, Oct. 24, at 3 p.m.
For questions and further information, please contact the HFCC Student Activities Office at (313) 845-9865. For information regarding the issues and persons seeking office, please go