Election Day Hotlines Will Help Voters Who Encounter Problems at the Polls

Affiliate: ACLU of Virginia
November 5, 2007 12:00 am

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: media@aclu.org; (212)549-2666

RICHMOND, VA – The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia and the Virginia State Conference of the NAACP will provide hotlines tomorrow for voters who run into problems on Election Day. The decision to inform voters of their rights and to offer assistance stems from the experiences of the NAACP and the ACLU in recent years.

The hotline will enable voters to contact someone at the ACLU or the NAACP on Election Day if they feel they have been illegally denied the right to vote. The ACLU hotline number is (804) 644-8080 and the NAACP number is (804) 321-5678. Spanish-speaking voters who encounter problems should contact the ACLU.

Voters from across the state routinely complain that they have been turned away from polling places because they do not have identification with them. Under Virginia law, voters do not need to be carrying identification when they show up at the polls, although such voters may be asked to sign an affirmation of identity form.

Some voters who have registered at the Department of Motor Vehicles have discovered on Election Day that their applications were not processed in time to vote, and voter registrars sometimes make mistakes. All voters have a right to cast a provisional ballot on Election Day even if their names are not on the voter rolls. It will later be determined if they were properly registered.

In recent years, the ACLU has received complaints from voters who were sent home because they were wearing buttons or t-shirts with political messages. While Virginia election law prohibits “electioneering” in polling places, this refers only to attempts to persuade voters to take a stand for or against something currently on the ballot.

The ACLU and NAACP have already distributed over 13,500 “voter empowerment cards” in English and over 3,000 cards in Spanish to community organizations and concerned voters throughout the commonwealth. The double-sided, pocket-sized cards inform voters of their rights under Virginia law. Voter empowerment cards in English and Spanish can be downloaded at www.acluva.org

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