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Lawyers’ Committee Statement Regarding Recent Calls for Observers and Law Enforcement at Polling Sites

For Immediate Release August 18, 2016

Contacts:

Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, issued the following statement regarding recent calls for observers and law enforcement at the polls:

“Voter intimidation and harassment should have no place in American democracy today. Calls to deploy observers and activate law enforcement inside and outside of polling places are actions intended to depress voter turnout and participation, particularly among minority groups. They harken back to a dark era in our nation’s history in which law enforcement and the threat of violence were used as tactics intended to disenfranchise African-Americans and other minority groups. Moreover, these calls run the risk of disrupting the conduct of elections thereby causing chaos on Election Day. Untrained observers are likely to bring their biases to the polls in ways that may threaten voters from exercising their franchise. The right to vote lies at the heart of democracy and, through our Election Protection program and continued advocacy, we will work to ensure that all voters are able to cast a ballot free from intimidation and harassment this election cycle.”

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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.

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