Washington, D.C. – Election Protection (EP), the nation’s largest nonpartisan voter protection coalition, is in full swing to make sure voters across the country have the information and support they need to vote. Led and organized by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), EP trains dedicated volunteers to answer calls from voters on Election Day. At the time of release, the English language voter protection hotline, 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683), has received over 1,900 calls so far today. Volunteers will be will be available until 9 p.m. EST tonight to help voters who call 1-866-OUR-VOTE. Spanish-speaking voters can continue to get help through the 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (1-888-839-8682) hotline until 8:30 p.m. EST. And voters seeking bilingual assistance in multiple Asian languages can seek assistance from 1-888-API-VOTE (1-888-273-8683) until 9 p.m. EST.
Election Protection’s volunteers report that the 1-866-OUR-VOTE hotline has been buzzing throughout the day, with a higher volume of calls than anticipated. The majority of the calls have come from Ohio and Texas. News articles have surfaced throughout the day with reports of problems with new voting equipment in Hamilton County, Ohio. One caller from Disability Rights Ohio reported long lines at the at the New Mission Missionary Baptist Church polling place in Cincinnati, which is located in Hamilton County. Election Protection contacted the County Board of Elections, which provided us with a direct line to the office in the event of further problems.
Overall, most voters have called to ask questions about their polling places.
“Every election is important and calls received during this year’s local and state elections reflect the continuing need for Election Protection to provide services year-round to help voters as they prepare to cast ballot,” said Chris Melody Fields Figueredo, manager of Legal Mobilization at the Lawyers’ Committee. “As in years past, the hotline received a large number of requests for information regarding where to vote and problems at the polling place like voting machine failures.”
As we approach the 2016 presidential election primaries, it is critical that we work with election officials across the country to ensure jurisdictions are properly prepared to implement elections. Additionally, the Election Protection coalition will work to provide information to voters on their rights and what they need to do in order to cast a ballot.
Many thanks to our partners NALEO Educational Fund, APIAVote and Asian Americans Advancing Justice—AAJC, who led 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA, and 1-888-API-VOTE to provide services to voters that speak other languages than English.
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 1-866-OUR-VOTE hotline (1-866-687-8683) administered by the Lawyers’ Committee, 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (1-888-839-8682) administered by NALEO Educational Fund, 1-888-API-VOTE (1-888-273-8683) administered by APIAVote and Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC and dedicated team of legal experts and trained 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 is providing voter protection services nationwide.
For more information about Election Protection, the 1-866-OUR-VOTE Hotline, please visit: www.866ourvote.org.