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Election Protection Hotline Available to Help Voters in Washington, D.C.

September 13, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:

Stacie Royster, Director of Communications

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law                                                                      

(202) 662-8317                                                        

(202) 445-6101 (cell)

sroyster@lawyerscommittee.org

           

Election Protection Hotline Available to Help Voters in Washington, D.C.
Toll-Free Number (1-866-OUR-VOTE) Available; Live Assistance on Primary Election Day

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) SEPTEMBER 9, 2010 –Election Protection – the nation’s largest nonpartisan voter protection coalition – will be available to assist voters in Washington, D.C.’s hotly contested mayoral primary as the city implements new voting reforms for the first time.   Trained volunteers will assist voters with their questions and problems through Election Protection’s toll-free hotline 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683) from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on primary day.   Additionally, legal volunteers will be monitoring polling sites across the District of Columbia and the coalition will coordinate with the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics to quickly resolve any problems reported through the hotline or by poll monitors. 

“We are excited that Washington, D.C. is implementing reforms that will greatly expand access to the ballot box for all Washingtonians,” said Marcia Johnson-Blanco, co-acting director of the Voting Rights Project at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.  “In order to alleviate any confusion or problems with the new systems, Election Protection is actively working to educate voters, assist poll workers and provide a safety-net on Primary Day in case voters have questions or encounters problems,” Johnson-Blanco continued.

The 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683) toll-free hotline is available in English and Spanish to any voters who need 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. 

Election Protection’s nationwide, nonpartisan voter protection program was the largest in the coalition’s history in 2008.  Over 10,000 legal volunteers fanned out across the nation to assist voters, poll workers and election officials in 25 states; the 1-866-OUR-VOTE hotline received over 240,000 calls from voters seeking assistance; and the www.866OurVote.org Web site was visited by more than 283,000 people in the final six weeks of the election.  Click here to read Election Protection’s 2008 report, Election Protection 2008: Helping Voters Today, Modernizing the System for Tomorrow.

For more information about Election Protection and the 1-866-OUR-VOTE Hotline, please visit: www.866OurVote.org. Click here to learn more about the DC Primary Program.

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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.