Can I buy beer on election day, vote at a different polling place or bring my kids to drop my ballot?
3rd November 2020

AMERICANS have a few more hours left to cast their ballots and vote their next president.

Here we answer some of the doubts you may have on Election Day.

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Can I buy beer on election day?

An age-old law bans US citizens from purchasing alcohol on Election Day.

According to WUSA9, the ban was introduced because candidates often used alcohol to persuade undecided voters – which George Washington was allegedly guilty of doing.

Maryland was the very first US state to establish an Election Day alcohol ban in 1811, followed by a number of other states.

But over the years, several states decided to repeal the ban.

North Carolina rolled it back in June 2014, when politicians decided people should be allowed to buy alcohol once again.

To find out if you can buy a beer on Election Day, you should check your local government's rules.

Am I allowed to vote at a different polling place?

Voters are expected to cast their ballot at the polling place they have been assigned.

If you move home, you should update your address on your voter registration so you can be assigned a new polling place near your new home. 

If you try to vote somewhere other than your assigned location, you may have to cast a provisional ballot and your vote may not be counted.

To find your polling place and its hours, contact your state or territorial election office. 

Can I bring my kids with me when I vote in person?

Yes, you can. Parents are allowed to bring kids to the polls in all the US states.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, they may be asked to wear a mask and follow social distancing rules.

Many states do not put a limit on how many children parents can bring with them.

Other states, such as Pennsylvania and Maryland, limit the number of children a parent can bring to just one or two.

You should check the rules in your state before heading out to the polls.

Can I carry a concealed weapon to a polling place?

Five battleground states in the US presidential election have no laws prohibiting people from carrying a concealed weapon to a polling place.

A study by the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence examined polling place laws in Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

It found that although these states have the power to constitutionally prohibit firearms at polling places, none have codified it into law.

Just six states – Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas – have laws prohibiting guns at polling places, the study found.

Researchers also found that local governments in North Carolina and Virginia can prohibit bringing guns to polling places.

Pennsylvania and Wisconsin have state laws that prevent such local laws governing weapons.

Can felons vote in the election?

For the first time in decades, during the presidential election in 2020 no US state will bar all its citizens with felony convictions from voting. 

In 2016, about 6.1million people across the United States were not allowed to vote due to a felony conviction.

Four states – Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, and Virginia – until recently prohibited most or all people with felony convictions from voting.

Currently, 11 states permanently disenfranchise people with certain disqualifying felony convictions, Business Insider reports.

According to the Brennan Center for Justice, 15 states reenfranchise citizens upon release from prison, and 17 states reenfranchise those who have completed the entirety of their sentences – including prison, parole, and probation.

Can I vote if my ID has expired?

Voter ID laws change frequently and are not the same across all US states.

As of this year, there are 36 states that require some form of ID on Election Day.

The most convenient and efficient voter identification to have is a photo ID.

In case your ID is expired, you can use a driver’s license, state-issued ID card, or military ID to vote in most states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

States such as Indiana, Georgia, Kansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin have strict photo ID laws requiring you to present valid photo identification.

You can use this website to check your state's requirements

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