Being Prepared for Election 2004

Special to BCV


The 2004 Presidential Election is quickly approaching. JohnKerry (Dem) will run against President George Bush (Rep) for thepresidential term that will officially begin in January 2005.  


Like the 2000 Presidential Election, manyexperts are predicting that this election will also sustainhistorical significance for a number of reasons. To begin, the 2004Election is sure to bring a number of challenges as election sitesthroughout the nation have implemented electronic polling machinesas opposed to the manual forms and punch cards.


As a result, many political analysts areconcerned with the accuracy of the electronic polling machines.Still others are concerned with the new voter registrationguideline that requires constituents to provide a portion of theirsocial security number to complete the registration process.  


Regardless of the issues, African Americansare encouraged to vote in the upcoming election. As we witnessed in2000, every vote does count! As the nation prepares for the 2004Presidential Election in November, it is important to be ready tocast your vote. 


Before Election Day 

  • If you are not registered to vote, contactthe Board of Elections to do so.
  • If you have recently moved, again contact theBoard of Elections to update your records.
  • Ensure that the information listed on yourvoter registration card is correct.
  • If you are not able to vote in your district,request an absentee ballot from your Board of Elections.
  • Persons who are eligible for absentee ballotsinclude:
    • 62 years of age or older,
    • Provider of medical services
    • Disabled
    • Hospitalized
    • Religious Obligations


  • Understand the issues and study the opinionsof the candidates.
  • View the expense reports of each candidate asthis information is a matter of public record and usually indicatesaffiliations, allegiances and beliefs.
  • Confirm your voting location to ensure thatyour site has not moved due to construction, building restraints,alternate routing, etc.


Election Day 

  • In the event that your name does not appearon the printed list, request a provisional ballot to cast yourvote.
  • Verify the functionality of the votingequipment. Like other manual and electronic machinery, the votingmachine may not properly cast your vote. Be sure to alert theattendant immediately.
  • Verify the hours of operation for your votinglocation.
  • Remind others to vote. Every vote doescount.


After the Inauguration 

  • Identify your regional representatives bysearching www.house.govand www.senate.gov.
  • Contact your representatives to lobby for theneeds of your community
  • Attend public meetings to voice your opinionsand understand pending issues.