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How To Make Sure Your Vote Gets Counted On Election Day

As you know, America is dealing with various important issues-the economy, the war in Iraq, the Afghanistan operation, immigration and education. Consequently, this upcoming presidential election has taken center stage, causing millions of Americans to vote, many for the first time. It is estimated that 130 million Americans will vote so expect long lines and ID checks.

Although most Americans will not have any problems voting, some will. The below steps should be followed to make your vote count.

1. Before going to the polls, check to make sure your registration is in proper order by contacting your local registrar or going to canivote.org. In Texas, you can visit votexas.org-this site is very useful, providing information for all Texans, no matter what county you live in.

2. Polling places can change. Make certain you know your proper polling location and make sure your ID is valid and will be accepted, especially if you are a first-time voter.

3. Once at the polls, don't take "NO" for an answer. You should NOT leave a polling place without casting some sort of ballot.

4. If you encounter problems, request an emergency paper ballot or, as a last resort, a provisional ballot. Provisional ballots should be avoided whenever possible because they are less likely to be counted. If you must cast a provisional ballot, ask polling officials what steps you can take to ensure your vote is counted.

5. If you still have questions about polling-place locations or ID requirements, or if you encounter any problems at the polls, call Election Protection (866-OUR-VOTE), the nation's largest coalition of poll watchers and lawyers. The nonpartisan call center will be staffed through Election Day.

Your vote is important and it must be counted. You are deciding where America is heading the next four years.

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