Center, students continue Election Protection presentations, prepare for Nov. 6 Hotline

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UNC Pro Bono Students Dan Hemme and Nate Creger at Pitt County Election Protection Presentation

Participating in the Election Protection presentation was a very empowering experience. I appreciated the opportunity to feel what it is like to have members of the community really depend on your expertise. With voter suppression on the rise, the stakes are extraordinarily high in the upcoming election. Now, more than ever before, it is our responsibility as civil rights lawyers and soon-to-be lawyers to do our part in ensuring citizens are informed of their rights as voters. Rachel Nicholas (Second Year UNC Law), student presenter at Rebuilding Broken Places, Goldsboro, NC

UNC Law student Charlotte Stewart
presenting in Wayne County

Center for Civil Rights attorneys and UNC Law Pro Bono Students have continued to present voter education programs in communities across the state. These non-partisan public education and information presentations are part of Center’s participation in the national Election Protection coalition.

In addition to this community outreach, the Center will again be coordinating the North Carolina call center for the Election Protection Hotline on Election Day, November 6.

UNC Law student Jamie Denvir
presenting in Wayne County

Voters anywhere in the state can call 1.866.OUR.VOTE (866.687.8683) or 1.888.VE.Y.VOTA (888.839.8682) with questions about their rights and the voting process. Trained UNC Law students and faculty, with other community volunteers, will be available to answer voter questions and document and address voting problems or irregularities.

Community organizations groups have hosted Election Protection presentations in Wayne, Pitt, Durham, Hoke, Brunswick, Halifax and Moore Counties. In these presentations, the most common questions raised have been about voter registration, voter ID, felon disenfranchisement, and assistance at the polls. Important facts to know are:

  • Voter Registration: The registration deadline was October 12, 2012. There is no same day registration and voting on election day in North Carolina, but eligible voters can register and vote during Early Voting (Oct. 18 – Nov. 3) at One Stop sites across their home counties.
  • Voter ID: Voters are NOT required to show ID before voting unless they registered to vote by mail without ID or in a registration drive and are voting for the first time on that new registration, and there was not a match between the information on their registration and the NC DMV or social security administration. Acceptable forms of ID include any of the following: photo ID (driver’s license, ID cards), a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document showing your current name and address.
  • Voting and Criminal History: A person’s right to vote is revoked upon conviction of a felony, and his or her name is purged from the voting rolls. The right to vote is automatically restored after the person has completed all the conditions of their punishment: unconditional discharge from imprisonment, probation, and parole and satisfaction of any other conditions of probation, parole, or pardon. However, individuals must re-register to vote after all these conditions are completed. Conviction of a misdemeanor does not affect a person’s right to vote.
UNC Law Student Kaushal Amin at Halifax
County presentation
  • Assistance at the Polling Place: A person who needs assistance at the polls due to disability or inability to read (including non-English speakers) can get assistance inside the polling booth from a person of his or her choosing (except the person’s employer or union representative). Polling places must also be physically accessible to the disabled. NC provides curbside voting.

If you have any questions or concerns about voting, call the Election Protection Hotline: 1.866.OUR.VOTE or 1.888.VE.Y.VOTA (Español).

Mark Dorosin and Bethan Eynon at Election Protection presentation in Halifax County

There were so many questions from the participants and so much interaction that everyone left knowing something they didn't, myself included . . . The presentation gave us a chance to really delve into the topics that were relevant to the community and answer specific questions, while still providing a solid overview of the entire voting process in North Carolina. Because we gave this presentation, there are now thirty more people in Greenville who are informed about the issues and capable of helping others get their votes counted. – Nate Creger (First year UNC Law), student presenter at Phillipi Church, Greenville, NC

If voters experience any problems during Early Voting or on Election Day, or have any questions or concerns about their ability to cast their vote, they can call the Election Protection Hotline: 1.866.OUR.VOTE or 1.888.VE.Y.VOTA (Español).

Posted by Taiyyaba A. Qureshi on Fri. November 2, 2012 11:16 AM
Categories: 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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