Attention voters: Late this month you will receive a postcard in the mail from the Pima County Elections Department.
You'll probably be tired of mail from politicians by then, but do not toss this card. It is not junk. It lists the name and address of your polling place.
If you vote at the wrong place, you risk having your ballot invalidated. That's what happened to 3,230 Pima County electors in 2008, according to a new report from the American Civil Liberties Union.
There's no excuse for voting at the wrong place, and the responsibility largely belongs to the voter. There are three easy ways to get it right.
• Read the card mailed to your household. It's scheduled to be mailed 11 days before the Nov. 2 election.
• Go right now to the elections website and click on the "where to vote" button. Type in your address and, bingo, your polling info appears. The web site is at www.pima.gov/elections/polls .htm
• Vote by mail. Then you don't have to worry at all about showing up anywhere. You can request an early ballot until 11 days before the election.
Requests for early ballots are handled by the county Recorder's Office, and you can get there by clicking on the "How to vote" button on the elections site.
While the primary responsibility falls with the voter, it also puzzles us why officials are unable to do a better job on Election Day when people show up at the wrong place.
In a story by reporter Rhonda Bodfield in Wednesday's Star, Elections Director Brad Nelson said polling sites don't have a computer that workers can use to type in an address and send a voter to the right location.
Instead, they use a map and paper reference material.
Gosh, does no one in the room have a smart phone? Some polling places are located inside libraries and community centers where there's surely a publicly accessible computer. Even at schools and churches, we suspect someone in the office has a computer and would be happy to help other citizens exercise their right to vote.
This is a problem that's so easy to fix. Take responsibility, voters, for identifying your polling place.
Arizona Daily Star