ACLU-TN Distributing Voters' Rights Cards, Providing Assistance for Voters on Election Day

Affiliate: ACLU of Tennessee
October 22, 2008 12:00 am

ACLU Affiliate
ACLU of Tennessee
Media Contact
125 Broad Street
18th Floor
New York, NY 10004
United States

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: aclutn@aclu-tn.org

Nashville, Tennessee – In preparation for Election Day, the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee (ACLU-TN) has produced a Voter Empowerment Card and is establishing an Election Day hotline to help voters who encounter problems at the polls.

“The right to vote and to have one’s vote accurately and fairly counted is as fundamental a right as we have in this country. In that spirit, ACLU-TN’s goal is to ensure that every eligible voter is able to cast a vote and have it counted,” said Hedy Weinberg, ACLU-TN Executive Director.

The Voter Empowerment Cards cover topics such as Election Day logistics, how to avoid common problems that come up on Election Day, and what to do if you experience irregularities at the polls. The pocket-sized, accordion-fold cards answer more than 30 basic, practical voting questions that could arise at polling places and will ensure that voters know their rights.

In addition, ACLU is staffing a voting rights hotline for voters to call if they encounter problems at the polls. The hotline numbers are ACLU-TN at 615-320-7142 and ACLU Voting Rights Project at 1-877-523-2792. The hotline will allow voters to contact ACLU on Election Day if they feel they have been unfairly denied the right to vote and to report voting irregularities.

“We are concerned that some voters might be turned away from the polls because they are not fully aware of their rights under Tennessee law. Voters with the ACLU-TN Empowerment Card in their hands will know their rights and be able to assert them on Election Day, “according Weinberg.

“Voters in Tennessee can overcome most obstacles by taking a quick glance at their Empowerment Card or by finding a volunteer to help them outside many polling places. If that is not sufficient, a phone call to the ACLU will help them determine if their rights are indeed being violated and what recourse they have,” said Weinberg.

ACLU is particularly concerned about the following problems voters may face at the polls:

• Ballot security initiatives designed to suppress minority voting;
• Voters turned away without being offered a provisional ballot;
• Too few machines in polling places which will lengthen lines and discourage eligible voters;
• Poll watching activities that go beyond mere observation and become harassment;
• Moving polling places on short notice or without sufficient warning; and
• Disinformation campaigns

Copies of the voter empowerment cards are available without charge by contacting the ACLU of Tennessee at 615-320-7142 and leaving your name, address and phone number. The card also is available on the ACLU-TN website at: www.aclu-tn.org/votingrights.htm.

The ACLU-TN hotline number is 615-320-7142. The ACLU Voting Rights Project toll-free number is 1-877-523-2792.

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