Voter Assistance Needed

*The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Election Protection is looking for volunteers to provide _non-partisan_ assistance to voters*

We are clearly in the midst of an exciting and important election season here in Wisconsin. As law students, we are perhaps uniquely qualified and uniquely obligated to help ensure that all eligible Wisconsin residents have the opportunity to participate fully in the democratic process, that is, to cast a meaningful ballot on November 4 and have their votes counted. To that end, we are asking you to volunteer a few hours of your time to Wisconsin’s Election Protection program.**

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law’s Election Protection program is the nation’s largest _non-partisan_ voter protection coalition and has provided meaningful support to hundreds of thousands of voters since its inception following the 2000 general election. The cornerstone of the Election Protection program is the 1-866-OUR-VOTE hotline (and the Spanish-language 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA hotline), staffed by volunteers like you. In 2004 the hotline took more than 200,000 calls from voters all across the country and this year promises to be even busier with new voter registrations sky-rocketing. In addition to the hotline, Election Protection also relies on legal volunteers to monitor the polls and to travel to polling locations when problems arise to help resolve issues in real time. The majority of law student volunteers will be assigned the position of poll monitor, and will help to alleviate potential problems such as dissemination of misinformation by poll workers, problems associated with voting machines, and potential intimidation of voters.

Election Protection is a resource for all Americans, but is specifically focused on traditionally disenfranchised communities, including: African Americans, Latinos, and other racial, ethnic, and language minorities; seniors; young people; low-income voters; and individuals with disabilities. If you are interested in helping protect Wisconsin voters in this November’s election, all we ask is that you commit to attend one brief training session held in late October and sign up for one shift (4-5 hours) on Election Day. All of the materials that you will need will be provided. We intend to concentrate our poll monitoring efforts on Madison and Dane County, but if volunteer interest is high, we may also try to cover targeted wards in other communities, such as Racine, Kenosha, Janesville and Beloit. To volunteer, please contact Emily Lee at _egreb@wisc.edu_, or Alfonso Cornish at _cornish@wisc.edu_

Submitted by Deb Cutler on October 17, 2008

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