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Rules Around Polling Places

The debates are done, the positions staked out, and most of the storylines have been written. And as one of the most contentious presidential elections comes down to the wire, there's not much left to do but vote. And as polarizing as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have been, there's little worry of low voter turnout this year.

In fact, there's been less focus on polling numbers and more focus on polling places, with rampant allegations of vote rigging and voter fraud leading to a heightened interest in what goes down at the ballot box. Here's what you need to know when you go to cast your vote.

Believe it or not, there was a time when a driver's license was nothing more than a piece of paper with an actual paper photo glued on that got laminated. No magnetic strips, barcodes, holograms, or fancy security features. After the 9/11 attacks, the federal government passed the REAL ID Act, which required state IDs such as driver's licenses, to comply with new security measures to protect against counterfeit forms of identification.

While the REAL ID Act was passed in 2005, there are still five states that have not complied, which will cause serious inconvenience for residents of those states. For example, the Pennsylvania driver's license won't be enough to board a plane in 2018.

How to Get an Absentee Ballot

The election is right around the corner, and with all the excitement, you don't want to be left out. But what if you have to work a double on Election Day, or you're away at college, or are going to be on a cruise ship? The good news is that you don't have to miss out as you can vote with an absentee ballot. The rules for obtaining an absentee ballot are simple, and once you have your ballot, you can vote from the comfort of your own couch.

In a majority of states, getting an absentee ballot is as simple as requesting one, and some states even allow online requests. However, in some states, you may be required to provide a reason, such as illness, travel, or work. You should register as soon as possible since some states have strict deadlines. The rules for casting your absentee ballot vary from state to state, but generally it is as simple as following the instructions in the ballot that gets mailed to you.

Election Day is less than a month away and there's been a lot of talk about early voting, voter fraud, and voter ID laws lately. Donald Trump has even said there will be "large scale voter fraud happening on and before election day [sic]" and that the "election is absolutely being rigged."

Despite pushback from election officials on both sides of the political spectrum and recent studies that found just 31 instances of voter fraud out of some one billion votes cast over the last 15 years, Trump's words are having an impact. A recent poll showed 73 percent of Republican voters think the election could be stolen, and many voters are wondering whether they can or will be stopped from voting at the polls.

And where you have voting rights questions, we have voting rights answers. Here's what you need to know about your voting rights, from our archives.

The internet is alive with rage over the recently passed initiative by the University of Maryland's student government that would increase student fees by $34 to fully fund the university's Title IX office, which is charged with investigating on campus sexual assaults, rape, and discrimination. Media outlets are reporting that this fee to fund the school's Title IX office is the first of its kind.

Under federal law, universities are required to hire a Title IX coordinator, whose function is to ensure that claims under Title IX get investigated. While the general consensus is that it is a good thing that the university will be able to fully fund their Title IX office, many seem to be shaking their head in disapproval over the way it is going to happen.

The three Valencia College students that filed a civil rights case against their instructors for retaliating against them when they objected to being forced to undergo transvaginal ultrasounds won their appeal. The Federal Appeals Court ruled that the ultrasounds were not only an unconstitutional search, but also that the instructors violated the students' right to free speech.

This case is as shocking as it sounds. The three female students objected to Valencia College's Sonography program's unusual practice of requiring female students to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound at the hands of other students. All three students faced retaliation for objecting and stating they did not want to have the procedure done on them by another student, and all three quit the program as a result of the retaliation they faced.

The political invective from both sides of the presidential campaign has already been heated, and we can probably expect it to reach incendiary levels in the last month leading to the election. But one of the more sinister suggestions coming from Donald Trump is that the election will somehow be rigged in Hillary Clinton's favor. On more than one occasion, he has even suggested to supporters that they become "election observers" in order to prevent voter fraud at the polls.

But are average citizens the ideal candidates to enforce voter laws? More importantly, are they even allowed? And when does election observing become voter intimidation?

The upcoming presidential election is shaping up as one of the most bitter and contentious in recent history. And behind all of the debates, scandals, and attack ads, another battle has been playing out, one focusing on who will get to cast ballots come November.

We all need to be registered in order to vote, but some states also require some form of official identification in order to receive a ballot or vote at the polls. While supporters of voter ID laws claim this helps reduce voter fraud, opponents contend the laws are used to place an extra burden on minority voters. The conflict has been playing out in the court system recently, leaving many to wonder where their state voter ID laws stand. Here's an update:

In the wake of Ahmad Khan Rahami's arrest as the main suspect in a series of bombings in New York and New Jersey last week, CNN asked the question: "Does bombing suspect deserve due process?" Donald Trump lamented the fact that Rahami received medical treatment after he shot during his arrest and may have access to a lawyer. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said he hopes President Barack Obama will declare Rahami an enemy combatant so he could be placed in military custody and interrogated without a lawyer or Miranda warnings.

Fortunately for Rahami, and the rest of us United States citizens, our due process rights are guaranteed by the Constitution, and not conditional on whether or not you "deserve" them, how guilty you look, or what crime you are charged with.

Workplaces are becoming more accommodating, especially when it comes to fashion. Every day seems like casual Friday in Silicon Valley. And many companies pride themselves on not only allowing but encouraging their employees to express themselves freely in their fashion choices.

But what about more conservative employers? And what about company grooming policies, like bans on dreadlocks, which appear to have a racial motivation? Can banning dreadlocks constitute racial discrimination?