If you’re in line, you get to vote

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Voters line up to cast their ballot on election day at a polling station in Harlem, New York, U.S., November 8, 2016. REUTERS/Bria Webb        - RTX2SK4X

Voters line up to cast their ballot on election day at a polling station in Harlem, New York, U.S., November 8, 2016. Photo by Bria Webb/Reuters

The proper and fair administration of elections has been a molten-hot issue in 2016, but there is one thing that Trump-ites, Clinton-ites and experts of every stripe agree on.

It’s this: If you’re on line at a polling place at the time it’s supposed to close on Election Day, you get to vote. Doesn’t matter how long it takes. Doesn’t matter how long the line is. You. Get. To. Vote.

“I’m not aware of any place that doesn’t do it that way on Election Day,” said Tammy Patrick, a former federal compliance officer for the Maricopa County Elections Department in Arizona who advises Electionland.

This year, some state elections officials have been putting the word out on social media to reinforce this is what’s what.

Despite the clarity of the laws and rules on this point, there nonetheless manages to be controversy about it each time an election rolls around. Case in point: Republican nominee Donald Trump filed a lawsuit in Nevada contending that, in early voting on Friday, some people got on line after the polls were supposed to close. (An initial hearing went against Trump. The case is ongoing.)

Patrick said states sometimes may handle early voting differently on this point. But on Election Day, there’s not much gray area on this one.


This story was originally published by ProPublica’s Electionland.

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