Protecting Our Vote: Students Equip to Run Hotline

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    Voting “is regarded as a fundamental political right, because [it is] preservative of all rights.” Yick Wo v. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 356, 370. Today’s training on the mission of Election Protection and the proper tools for answering calls on tomorrow’s NC Primary highlighted the importance of ensuring that each voter has access and is provided the opportunity for their vote to count.

    Veronica Degraffenreid, Elections Preparation and Support Manager, along with Ted Fitzgerald, Lead Specialist of the Voter Outreach Section of the NC State Board of Elections, gave us an inside look of election day from the lens of the NC State Board of Elections. The Board trains all of their poll workers to ensure they are knowledgeable on the proper protocol when voters come to the polling site to make the process as smooth and efficient as possible.

    Trevor Ostbye, the National Coordinator for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights explained how Election Protection is the largest non-partisan voter protection coalition seeking to ensure voters have an equal opportunity to vote by presenting a platform where they may voice an inquiry or issue they have during their voting process. Questions range from “Where do I go to vote?” to “What are acceptable forms of ID?” However, the value of this service extends far beyond immediate voter questions and problems. Mark Dorosin, Managing Attorney for the UNC Center for Civil Rights, explained that “what we are trying to do is identify persistent problems.” The information recorded from each call to the hotline has the potential to serve as evidence for drafting new legislation on voter rights protection. Jennifer Marsh, Director of Research for the Center for Civil Rights, further acknowledged the importance of using the information as a way to better understand the communities we are serving.

    Upon the conclusion of the training, we felt equipped to answer the Election Protection hotline calls for NC on election day and we are excited to present a helpful service to NC voters.

Written by Nihad Mansour

Posted by Hillary Dawe on Tue. March 15, 2016 11:22 AM
Categories: Spring Break 2016: Election Protection

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