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Non-Partisan Election Protection Coalition Provided Assistance to Voters across Ohio, Mississippi, Virginia, and Pennsylvania on Election Day

November 8, 2011


Stacie B. Royster   
Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
(202) 662-8317 (cell)                                                          
(202) 445-6101 (mobile)

       Balance of reports reflect need for election officials to better inform 
voters when polling places have been moved or consolidated  

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Election Protection (EP) Hotline, 1-866-OUR VOTE (1-866-687-8683), operating live today from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., fielded over three thousand calls from voters seeking information and assistance from states across the nation. Overall during this election cycle the hotline fielded approximately five thousand calls. EP also had field programs in Ohio and Pennsylvania and Virginia. Overall problems highlight the need for election officials to do a better job providing information to voters when moving or consolidating polling locations and assistance available at the polling place. 

"The theme of the day was  that the moving and consolidation of polling places were not properly communicated to voters with a large number of callers to the hotline unsure about where they needed to go to vote." said Marcia Johnson-Blanco, co-director of the Voting Rights Project of the Lawyers' Committee. 

Other problems reported today included:

  • Poll workers who gave voters erroneous information, did not give voters provisional ballots when needed or were unfamiliar with new technologies;
  • Reports of electioneering within prohibited distances; and
  • Lack of confidence by voters in the voting machines they were using.

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-American, Asian Pacific Americans, 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 website was visited by more than 283,000 people in the six weeks leading up to Election Day.

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