AMID REPORTS OF MISLEADING TEXT MESSAGES,
ELECTION PROTECTION PROVIDING NON-PARTISAN VOTING ASSISTANCE TO OHIO-12 VOTERS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Toll-Free Hotline (866-OUR-VOTE) Available Now; Live Assistance Provided on Special Election Day
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Election Protection, the nation’s largest nonpartisan voter protection coalition led by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, in cooperation with the ACLU Ohio, All Voting is Local, Common Cause Ohio, the League of Women Voters of Ohio, and the Ohio Voting Rights Coalition, is providing assistance for voters in Ohio’s 12th Congressional District for the August 7 Special Election.
On the eve of the election, voters are receiving text messages providing inaccurate information on last minute changes to polling place locations. Election Protection is urging anyone receiving such a message to not respond or click on any links. Instead, the messages should be reported to the Franklin County Board of Elections at 614-525-3100 and to the Election Protection Hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE. Local voting rights groups are also calling on the Franklin County Board of Elections to conduct a deeper investigation into the matter.
“Anything that limits the ability of people to cast a ballot, particularly through the spread of misinformation, is unacceptable and must be reported,” said Catherine Turcer, Executive Director of Common Cause Ohio.
“Misinformation is not uncommon in elections, so voters should be proactive to protect their vote by verifying their registration and polling place with their local board of elections or the Secretary of State. It is also extremely important that voters report suspicious information to election officials so they may fully investigate who is spreading this information and ensure it does not confuse or deter other voters,” said Mike Brickner, Ohio State Director with All Voting is Local.
“Such underhanded tricks are always unacceptable, but especially at a time when the integrity of our entire voting system is being called into question. Voters deserve accurate information, so that everyone can access their constitutional right to the polls,” said Mary Kirtz Van Nortwick, PhD, Co-President of the League of Women Voters.
Voters in need of assistance can call these Election Protection Hotlines:
- 866-OUR-VOTE (English) – administered by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
- 888-Ve-Y-Vota (Spanish/English) – administered by the NALEO Educational Fund
- 888-API-VOTE (multiple Asian languages/English) – administered by APIAVote & Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC
- 844-Yalla-US (Arabic/English) – administered by the Arab American Institute.
“The Election Protection 866-OUR-VOTE hotline is a resource for all registered voters who receive misinformation, face problems registering or voting, seek to report complaints, or otherwise want to access information needed to meaningfully participate in elections in their community,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “Election Protection stands ready to help ensure that everyone has the opportunity to exercise the fundamental right to vote.”
On Tuesday, Election Protection voter hotlines will be answered live from 7am until 8pm EDT. Calls to the Election Protection 866-OUR-VOTE number will be answered by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Volunteers from All Voting is Local, Common Cause Ohio, the League of Women Voters of Ohio, the Ohio Voting Rights Coalition will be on hand to help voters at the polls.
Election Protection works year-round to help all American voters, including traditionally disenfranchised groups, gain access to the polls and overcome obstacles to voting. Election Protection utilizes field monitors and voter education, and it relies on an expansive network of national partners and state advocates to respond to voters’ questions and concerns.
Media Note: Voting rights and Election Protection spokespersons are available for interviews.
- Lawyers’ Committee:: Sue Dorfman, [email protected] or 202-662-8327
- All Voting is Local: Mike Brickner, [email protected] or 216-702-3034
- Common Cause Ohio: Catherine Turcer, [email protected] or 614-579-5509
- League of Women Voters/Education Fund: Jen Miller, [email protected] or 614-563-9543
About Election Protection: Election Protection is the nation’s largest nonpartisan voter protection coalition, led by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Through its suite of hotlines, including the 866-OUR-VOTE hotline (866-687-8683) administered by the Lawyers’ Committee, 888-VE-Y-VOTA (888-839-8682) administered by NALEO Educational Fund, 888-API-VOTE (888-273-8683) administered by APIAVote and Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC and dedicated team of trained legal and grassroots volunteers, Election Protection helps all American voters, including traditionally disenfranchised groups, gain access to the polls and overcome obstacles to voting. The coalition has more than 100 partners – including Advancement Project, Asian American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Brennan Center for Justice, Common Cause, League of Women Voters of the United States, NAACP, National Bar Association, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, State Voices, Rock the Vote and Verified Voting Foundation, – at the national, state and local levels and provides voter protection services nationwide. For more information about Election Protection, the 1-866-OUR-VOTE Hotline, please visit: www.866ourvote.org.
About The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
The Lawyers’ Committee, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. The Lawyers’ Committee celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013 as it continued its quest of “Moving America Toward Justice.” The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice under law, particularly in the areas of fair housing and fair lending, community development, employment, voting, education and environmental justice.
For more information about the Lawyers’ Committee, visit www.lawyerscommittee.org.