For the US 2018 midterm elections, OSET Institute’s TrustTheVote Project will have an embedded team of election technology and voting process experts working with NBC News and MSNBC. Three members of that team will also be serving as on-air analysts. In addition to providing in-depth analysis to the NBC News audience, the TrustTheVote Project team will monitor all of the information from the PollWatch program.
What should I do if there’s a problem at my polling location?
If you encounter any problem at your polling location, the problem resolution should start in the polling place. For example: there should always be a way to cast a paper provisional ballot.
If, however, you can’t resolve the issue at the polling place, you can report the problem with your smart phone:
- Call 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) to report your issue.
- Open the PollWatch link (https://bit.ly/seesay2018) on your smart phone to post a detailed report.
From there, the TrustTheVote Project team will ensure your report will be published on a national map and, if verifiable, reported on NBC News. With your help, we can all work together to hold polling locations accountable to you, the voter.
If you open the PollWatch link, https://bit.ly/seesay2018, on your mobile device, a new page opens in your default browser. Important: this link will not download an app! PollWatch is a web page, not a mobile app, so there’s no need to install anything on your device. You can also use PollWatch on a desktop or notebook computer. Just click or tap on this link: https://bit.ly/seesay2018
Describe the problem
Once you open the PollWatch link, https://bit.ly/seesay2018, you can describe the nature of the problem.
- Select the best description of the type of problem you’re experiencing using the drop-down menu.
- Enter a brief description of the problem, up to 400 characters, the about the same as two long tweets.
Tip: many smartphones will let you dictate your description if you tap the microphone icon on your keyboard.
Enter the location of your polling place
All the problems reported by PollWatch will be organized by location. Please be sure to enter the correct location of the polling place, even if the polling place is closed or has been moved (this is one of the problem types you can select, above).
To select your location, scroll down and tap (or click) on the map.
Once you tap on the map, you can enter the address of the polling place. If you don’t know the exact street address, start with the zip code.
- Move the map around under the map pin to point to the exact location. You can move the map on your mobile device by dragging your finger over the map itself.
- Pinch your fingers together on the map to zoom in.
- Spread your fingers apart to zoom out.
- Or, use the “+” and “-” buttons to zoom in and out.
- Tap the Home icon (a little house) to start over.
Once you’ve located your polling location, and positioned it under the blue map pin, tap the OK link in the upper right corner. Important: be sure to tap the OK button in the upper right. If you tap the Back button (<) in the upper left, you won’t save the location of your polling place.
Enter the problem severity and your contact information
If several people report the same problem, or if reporters can verify the problem you describe at the polling location, the issue may be reported on NBC News.
- Select the severity level of the problem from the menu labeled How severe is the problem?
- Enter your name (required)
- Enter your mobile phone number (required)
- Enter your email (optional)
- If possible, take a photo or video of the problem.
Submit your report
That’s it! You’re almost done.
- If possible, let us know how you found out about PollWatch: select from the menu.
- Tap (or click) the [Submit] button. Important: you must tap the [Submit] button to send your report to us for review and save your report.
Note that there are several phone numbers you can call, if you’d like to report your problem by speaking English, Spanish, or a number of other languages. You can also send an SMS message to 97779.
Once you’ve submitted your report, the TrustTheVote Project team will review it and all the other problem reports that are submitted on election day. The team will work with reporters to verify as many problems as possible. If your problem can be verified, it may even appear on NBC national news.
Thanks for your help! Voting only works when citizens participate in the process. This is one way where you can help ensure that polling locations are doing their work as part of this election.