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Election Protection Geared Up to Provide Assistance to Voters Nationwide for Nov. 5th Elections

October 30, 2013

Election Protection Geared Up to Provide Assistance
to Voters Nationwide for Nov. 5th Elections

Toll-Free Hotlines (1-866-OUR-VOTE, 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA and 1-888-API-VOTE)
Available Now; Live Assistance on Election Day

Washington, D.C., October 30, 2013 – Next Tuesday’s election continues to raise some concerns about potential barriers to the ballot box, particularly for traditionally disadvantaged communities.  To ensure voters are equipped with the information needed to overcome these barriers, Election Protection, the nation’s largest nonpartisan voter protection coalition, led by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, will run a voter assistance program for voters nationwide with a focus in New Jersey and Virginia, which have statewide elections, and targeted assistance to voters in New York City, Minneapolis, Pennsylvania and Colorado.  Highly trained volunteers are available now through Election Day, November 5th, to assist voters with any questions or problems, no matter how simple or complex.  Voters may call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683) toll-free with any questions or issues that may arise.  This English language hotline will be staffed live from 5:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. EST on Election Day. Spanish-speaking voters may seek assistance through the 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (1-888-839-8682) hotline and Asian language voters may seek assistance through 1-888-API-VOTE (1-888-274-8683), which will provide assistance in Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, Vietnamese, and Bengali.

On November 5th, trained volunteers will staff the Hotline to provide voters with assistance if they encounter any problems at the polls or have questions.  Additionally the English language hotline will be live on November 4th from 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. to assist voters ahead of Election Day. The Asian language hotline will be live Tuesday, November 5th from 5:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. and the Spanish language hotline will be staffed live Saturday, November 2nd from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Sunday, November 3rd from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m., Monday, November 4th from 8 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. and Tuesday, November 5th from 8 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. (all times Eastern).

“As voters prepare to head to the polls on November 5th, Election Protection stands ready to ensure that all eligible voters have a resource to turn to should they have questions or encounter a problem at the polls,” said Marcia Johnson-Blanco, co-director of the Lawyers’ Committee’s Voting Rights Project.   “It is critical that voters are reminded that their vote is important, particularly in non-Presidential election years.  In various municipalities, voters will cast votes for city council, gubernatorial and/or mayoral races and various referendums.  All voters must have their voices heard in every election.”

Virginia

  • Voters may have specific questions/challenges regarding the recent voter purge.
  • In Fairfax, VA, Election Protection will be running a special language access program, called 203.

Pennsylvania

  • The Pennsylvania voter ID law injunction was extended to the November 5th election. Poll workers may REQUEST but NOT REQUIRE voters to present government-issued photo ID.

Minneapolis

  • This election is the first time ranked choice voting will be available to voters.

“Every election no matter how big or small is important and the Lawyers’ Committee is working with our Election Protection volunteers and partners to protect the rights of voters across the country,” added Lawyers’ Committee Manager of Legal Mobilization Chris Fields.  “With recent changes to laws and confusion about the status of certain laws after the Supreme Court on the Voting Rights Act, our goal is to help voters navigate the electoral process.”

Election Protection’s toll-free hotlines, 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683) for English and 1-888-VE-VOTA (1-888-839-8682) for Spanish, and 1-888-API-VOTE (1-888-274-8683) for Asian languages are available to any voter who needs information, assistance or guidance in understanding their rights.  It is open to the entire voting public, but targets historically disenfranchised communities, including: African Americans, Asian Pacific American, Latinos, Native Americans, and other racially and ethnically diverse communities; seniors; young people; low-income voters; and individuals with disabilities. 

In 2012, the Election Protection Coalition deployed more than 7,600 volunteers—including 5,300 trained legal volunteers and 2,300 grassroots volunteers to provide voter assistance to more than 80 jurisdictions in 22 states, focusing on communities with high concentrations of traditionally disenfranchised voters and a history of election problems. The hotline received more than 175,000 calls in 2012. Click here to read Election Protections 2012 report.

For more information about Election Protection and the 1-866-OUR-VOTE Hotline, please visit: www.866OurVote.org.

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Media Note:  Voting Rights experts and Election Protection spokespersons are available for media interviews.  Please contact Stacie Royster to coordinate, sroyster@lawyerscommittee.org, 202-662-8317.