UNC Law School Hosts Election Protection Hotline to Field Questions, Concerns on May 8 Primaries

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Law students and faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, along with community volunteers, will staff the North Carolina Election Protection hotline, a toll-free, nonpartisan resource to answer voter questions during the primary election on Tuesday, May 8. Election Protection is a nationwide voter advocacy and education coalition of more than 100 local, state and national partners, and is coordinated by the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Voters anywhere in the state can call 1.866.OUR.VOTE (866.687.8683) or 1.888.VE.Y.VOTA (888.839.8682) between 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m., the hours polls are open in North Carolina, with questions about their rights and the voting process. Assistance will be available in English and Spanish. Visit the Election Protection website for more information about the service.

During the 2010 elections, the UNC School of Law Election Protection Hotline fielded almost 300 calls. Nationally, the hotline received more than 20,000 calls with concerns regarding registration, absentee ballots, and voter manipulation and intimidation.

There is specific cause for concern in North Carolina this year due to the recent electoral redistricting, which in addition to revising district boundaries has resulted in a very high number of split precincts. North Carolina Election Information via Election Protection (FAQ sheet PDF).

The UNC Center for Civil Rights has coordinated the North Carolina Election Protection hotline for several years. The UNC Law Pro Bono Program has recruited lawyers, law students and other volunteers who will be trained to answer questions from North Carolina voters and to help them understand their voting rights.

Training for Election Protection Volunteers will be held on May 7. To volunteer, Contact Dean Sylvia Novinsky at snovinsk@email.unc.edu.

“This program is committed to ensuring that every qualified voter gets a meaningful opportunity to exercise their basic civil right to cast a ballot on Election Day,” says Elizabeth Haddix, senior attorney at the Center.

According to Haddix, Election Protection is the nation's most ambitious nonpartisan program for preventing election-day disenfranchisement. The coalition of state and national allies seeks to ensure that every eligible voter casts a ballot that counts on Election Day.

For more information, contact Elizabeth Haddix, UNC Center for Civil Rights Senior Attorney, at 919.843.9807 or emclaugh@email.unc.edu.

Posted by Elizabeth M. Haddix on Wed. May 2, 2012 4:22 PM
Categories: Law Students, Pro Bono, Voting Rights
UNC School of Law | Van Hecke-Wettach Hall | 160 Ridge Road, CB #3380 | Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380 | 919.962.5106

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