Blog Posts: Spring Break 2016: Election Protection

Protecting Our Vote: Students Reflect on Their Day Running the Hotline

“What, So What, Now What?”  The day started with a debriefing and reflection time with Mark Dorosin, Managing Attorney for the UNC Center for Civil Rights.  Dorosin reiterated that the work we did yesterday was beneficial, but in order to make a long-term impact it was crucial for us to think through the events of the day and discuss what changes could be made for the future.  The what: student volunteers shared what problems they ran into, compelling stories they heard, and the emotional moments they felt.  The so what: we discussed some of the common problems, and teased through particular stories to understand what made them compelling and/or emotional.  The now what: we thought through how the common problems could be better addressed in the future as well as how to handle the stress and emotions we were feeling throughout the day.

The National Coordinator for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, Trevor Ostbye, led the afternoon session.  Some of the student volunteers listened to the remaining voicemails from the North Carolina Election Protection Hotline as well as voicemails from the Election Protection Hotline in other states.  Call logs were combed through by another group of student volunteers who made note of which calls should receive follow up.  

At the end of this project, all of the student volunteers left feeling fulfilled and believing that they truly made a difference.  


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Posted by Laura L. Kessler on Fri. April 1, 2016 8:29 AM
Categories: Spring Break 2016: Election Protection

Protecting Our Vote: Students Equip to Run Hotline

    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


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No Comments | Posted by Hillary Dawe on Tue. March 15, 2016 11:22 AM
Categories: Spring Break 2016: Election Protection

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