Q: Election Day is just over a month away. As it approaches, many people have questions about voting that could keep them away from the polls this November.
USAGov can help. We’re the federal program that connects Americans to government information and services. Responding to questions from people across the country, we created an online guide to voting and elections at USA.gov/voting.
Our goal is to equip everyone with the basic information they need to register and get their vote counted. The information is free, easy to understand and nonpartisan.
There, readers can begin the registration process for their state or contact their local election office to update their voter information, learn what form of identification may be needed and the location of their polling place. We also provide information on how to vote early or absentee, which is helpful for those who can’t get out to vote, or who serve overseas in the military. Learn about sample ballots, tips for researching candidates, accessibility laws for voters with disabilities and much more.
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Abby, thank you for sharing USA.gov/voting with your readers, and for your long partnership in connecting them with information from their government to make their lives a little less complicated. — Nancy Tyler, Senior Editor, USA.gov
A: You are welcome. Readers, in the 2012 presidential election, less than half (42 percent) of Americans who were eligible to vote did so. A person who has the right to vote and doesn’t is no better off than the millions of people in this world who do not have that privilege. We are fortunate to live in a country where citizens are allowed to cast a ballot. The direction our country takes domestically and internationally is to a great extent determined by the citizens who exercise that right.
Regular, absentee and early voting all have registration deadlines that vary state by state, some as much as a month before Election Day, which is Nov. 8. So visit the voter registration section of USA.gov/voting, where you will find a button to begin the registration process.
Q: I work in an office where employee badges are issued and used to gain access to the building itself and to more sensitive areas. I know most of the people who work here and happily hold the door open for them, but there are also a lot of people I don’t know, some with badges indicating they work here, and others without identification.
I don’t want to let in someone who does not belong here and risk our safety and security. Would it be better to ask for ID before holding doors? What about friendly visitors? — Building Access in Boise
A: Companies pay large sums of money to ensure their buildings are secure. If someone doesn’t have an access card or a security badge, you should not hold the door open regardless of how friendly the person appears to be. To do otherwise circumvents the security and safety of the building and puts everyone, including yourself, at risk.
Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.