Voter Survival Guide

What you need to know as America votes today

Welcome to McClatchy’s Voter Survival Guide, an interactive presentation of daily events from one of the strangest presidential campaigns in modern history.

For all of the craziness of the 2016 election, email investigations, sexual assault allegations and rampant insults, the final day of campaigning for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton was relatively sane.

Trump planned a whirlwind final day with stops in Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Michigan. He will likely need to win three of those five states to have a shot at beating Clinton.

Clinton’s schedule was less hectic, with two rallies in Pennsylvania along with appearances in Michigan and North Carolina. Her Philadelphia appearance with her husband Bill and the Obamas is a show of political firepower in a state Trump hopes to flip on Election Day.

Here is a handy tool to find your polling place and here is where you can find the hours the polls are open in your state. If you have problems at the polls, refer to this list of helpful information.

Georgia closes its polls at 7pm, before most other East Coast states, and a strong showing by Clinton there could be an indication she’s poised to win convincingly. Similarly, if Trump can keep it close in Virginia, which also has a 7pm deadline, it could indicate good news for the Republican nominee.

Authorities will be on high alert for security issues at the polls, but major media companies could be at the greatest risk of a cyber attack that would disrupt the flow of information on Election Day.

Despite all the talk of a rigged election by Trump, most of his supporters think he’ll win fairly.

Today is Election Day, and the final edition of the voter survival guide—unless we don’t have a clear winner come Wednesday morning. Let’s get started.

A calm final day

Trump and Clinton focused their final efforts in traditional fashion, holding rallies in battleground states while top surrogates urged supporters to head to the polls.

“The choice in this election could not be clearer,” Clinton said to a capacity crowd of 4,600 near Grand Rapids, Michigan. “It’s between strong and steady leaders and loose cannons who could put everything at risk,” she said. “It’s between an economy that can work for everyone and one that is even more stacked for those at the top.”

Trump began his day in Florida with a familiar message for voters.

“In one day, we are going to win the great state of Florida and we are going to take back the White House,” Trump said in Sarasota. “You can go out and vote tomorrow. That is what you can do. It's the only way. That is where you beat the rigging, folks.”

The final round of national polls show Clinton with a two to three percentage point lead over Trump on average.

What you need to know on Election Day

Voters must be in line by the time polls close on Election Day, and there’s a bevy of resources you can use if you experience issues at the voting booth.

The civil rights division of the U.S. Department of Justice will field complaints about possible violations of federal voting laws at 800-253-3931 or 202-307-2767. A TTY line – 202-305-0082– is available for people who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech-impaired.

In addition, the nonpartisan Election Protection Coalition will operate a national hotline – 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) – staffed by trained volunteers who can assist voters in every state with questions or concerns about their rights.

True the Vote, a conservative voter’s rights group, provides an online app – – to report possible election fraud.

Media companies at risk of attack on Election Day

Tonight, millions of Americans will turn on their television, computer or smartphone to get the latest election results as the polls close. At that moment a carefully orchestrated cyber attack could disrupt and mislead voters, and many American media companies are vulnerable.

Upguard, a company that assesses how well companies are protected from hackers, found that three major news organizations – The Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal and CBS News – tallied “pretty abysmal” scores on the ability to prevent an attack.

On a scale up to 950, Upguard gave CBS the lowest score (334), and a little higher to The Wall Street Journal (376) and The Associated Press (378).

“Those are quite bad scores. Those are the kind of scores we see for companies with major security failures,” Greg Pollock of Upguard said.

Trump supporters believe in the democratic process

Despite Trump’s constant rhetoric that the election is “rigged” for Clinton, most Trump supporters say the system is not rigged.

Over 90 percent of people who think Trump will win and 84 percent of people who think Clinton will win say the election is not rigged in favor of one candidate.

“A very small number of voters anticipate a rigged election despite all the buzz about this being a concern,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth Polling Institute.

Links of note

Guns at the polls under watchful election eyes in Pennsylvania (McClatchy)

It’s possible Trump or Clinton could win popular vote and still lose the election (McClatchy)

False flier tells college students they must register their cars in order to vote (McClatchy)

How to make sense of what's happening as polls close on election night (USA Today)

Have a question about the candidates, the campaign, the process, the election itself? Ask us here.

Alex Daugherty: 202-383-6049, @alextdaugherty

Tony Pugh contributed to this report