FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 3, 2009
Media Contacts: Stacie Royster, 202-662-8317, firstname.lastname@example.org or
Mark Grindy, 202-292-6975, email@example.com
NONPARTISAN COALITION PROTECTS THE VOTE IN VIRGINIA
Election Protection ready for Nov. 3rd Elections, 1-866-OUR-VOTE Hotline staffed by trained volunteers to answer questions from Virginians seeking free, confidential and nonpartisan guidance on registration and voting
Washington, D.C. - Today, with Virginians across the Commonwealth turning out to elect a new Governor, Election Protection is on the ground to ensure the voting process is a smooth one.
After answering nearly 7,000 calls from Virginians in last year's historic election, Election Protection has ramped up its efforts once again to provide nonpartisan guidance to Virginia's voters as they head to the polls. Because of the lower turnout expected in this year's election, experts do not anticipate a high volume of issues like last year. Still, some voters will need help and Election Protection, led by the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, along with longtime coalition partners, will be there.
"Election Protection remains committed to ensuring that every voter is able to cast a ballot and have that vote counted," said Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Executive Director Barbara Arnwine.
Though this year's projected lower turnout may mask the problems with the election system, problems persist. In 2008, numerous inefficiencies affected voters all across the state, from registration issues to absentee ballot problems and excessively long lines at polling places. Election Protection experts point to the system of paper-based registration forms as a key barrier that still blocks eligible voters from casting a ballot and leads to duplicate registrations, data-entry errors and inaccurate lists.
"Now is the time for reform," Ms. Arnwine added. "After Tuesday passes, we need our leaders across the state and in Washington to take advantage of this down time between elections to put aside partisanship and come together on solutions for all eligible Americans. The first thing we should do is harness technology to modernize and upgrade our voter registration process."
Election Protection is committed to ensuring the modernization of the voter registration process from the out-dated, paper-based system of today, to a more automated, accurate and cost-efficient system. The coalition advocates for a more automated and permanent registration system that will save election officials' time and resources while protecting eligible Virginians - and all Americans - from being turned away at the polls.
Election Protection is the nation's largest nonpartisan voter protection coalition, led by the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Through its 1-866-OUR-VOTE hotline (1-866-687-8683) and dedicated team of experts and trained volunteers, Election Protection helps all American voters, including traditionally disenfranchised groups, gain access to the polls and overcome obstacles to voting, offering live assistance. In 2008, the coalition boasted more than 100 partners at the national, state and local level and provided live voter protection services for all 50 states. For more information about Election Protection and the 1-866-OUR-VOTE Hotline, please visit: www.866ourvote.org.