Yes, you can still vote even if polls close while you're in line. What to know tonight
Don't get out of line if the polls close when you're waiting your turn. You can still vote. There are several laws in place to protect your rights.
Katie TeagueWriter II
Katie is a writer covering all things how-to at CNET, with a focus on Social Security and notable events. When she's not writing, she enjoys playing in golf scrambles, practicing yoga and spending time on the lake.
ExpertisePersonal Finance: Social Security and taxes
If the polls close while you're in line, you still have the right to vote
If you're in line when the polls close tonight, you can still exercise your right to vote, as protected by state laws. For example, Kentucky's Secretary of State's site says if you are in line at 6 p.m. (when polls close), you will be allowed to vote. The California SOS site says "voters who are in line at the polling place at the time polls close are entitled to vote and must be allowed to exercise that right." Do not get out of line.
You can choose to vote by mail or in-person
You have the right to vote by mail or in-person. Others may try to sway you away from voting by mail due to the false rumors of mail fraud. The FBI has said, however, it would be "extraordinarily difficult" to change election results through vote-by-mail fraud and has seen no evidence of a coordinated effort to do so. Some states will count ballots that are postmarked into Tuesday evening (check with your state's voting website if you're unsure).
You have the right to vote in private and not be intimidated
There's a reason why booths are set up across polling places -- to protect your right to choose who you're voting for. Don't let anyone convince you they need to watch you fill out your ballot -- even if it's a poll worker. If someone is interfering while you're voting, it's considered voter intimidation and your right to vote in private is protected under federal voter intimidation laws.
If this happens, let a poll worker know and then report it to the Election Protection Hotline (1-866-OUR-VOTE) or the US Department of Justice voting rights hotline (1-800-253-3931). You should also contact your state board of elections. If someone attempts to inflict bodily harm, call the police.
You have the right to vote in your native language
Voters who do not wish to vote in English (e.g. English may be a second language) can receive assistance at the polls by bringing a friend or relative. Under the Voting Rights Act, some counties are required to provide bilingual assistance to voters in the language they speak. You may contact your county and request a ballot and informational material in your primary language.
Other rights you have
You can request a new ballot if you make a mistake.
You can choose to use a machine or paper ballot and switch to paper if a machine breaks.
People with mental disabilities cannot be turned away or prevented from voting.
If you experience problems or want to double check your rights on election day, you can call the toll free numbers below, including in multiple languages.
Some people with felony records can vote
Depending on the state you live in and conviction, you may be able to restore your right to vote if it was suspended. In some states, people who are convicted of felonies lose their right to vote indefinitely depending on the crime, or they need a governor's pardon to vote again, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In other states, such as Maine, people convicted of felonies never lose their voting rights, even if they're incarcerated.
Most states restore the right to vote to people after they complete their sentences, according to organization Campaign Legal. You can check your status to see if your right to vote has been restored in the state you live in.
You have the right to vote one time
Regardless of what you may incorrectly hear from others, you cannot vote more than once in the same election. Double voting is a federal crime that is punishable by fine and/or imprisonment. In addition to federal law, each state has its own set of laws against double voting as well.
Your rights are protected by two Acts
The Voting Rights Act of 1965
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is a federal law that protects voters from racial discrimination. It enforces the 15th Amendment of the constitution, which states, "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude."