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Civil Rights Leaders, Tyler Perry Urge Voters to call 1-866-OUR-VOTE to Seek Live, Confidential Help and to Report Registration and Voting Problems

WASHINGTON—With early voting, registration and absentee deadlines looming, Election Protection launched its 2008 general election efforts today.

The nation’s largest nonpartisan voter protection coalition, representing more than 100 organizations and the full spectrum of American citizens, will undertake the most comprehensive effort ever undertaken to empower voters to make sure their vote counts this Nov. 4.

On a conference call for reporters and bloggers, leaders from major civil rights organizations including the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the NAACP, Rock the Vote, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials and the National Congress of American Indians unveiled an extensive voter outreach program.

The centerpiece of those efforts are the free, nonpartisan hotlines (1-866-OUR VOTE for English speakers and 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA for Spanish speakers) which connect voters with questions or problems to legal experts that can offer impartial and confidential advice.  Fully trained volunteers have already started answering voters’ calls and are helping resolve voting issues nationwide, now and through Election Day. 

“We’ve come a long way in recent elections, but not nearly far enough,” said NAACP Interim General Counsel Angela Ciccolo.  “In fact, in certain areas, and for certain populations, voting is increasingly daunting. A process riddled with catches, hurdles and uncertainty. That’s not the way it should be. And with the help of this coalition, that’s not the way it will be this year.”

 

“This historic election deserves a historic election protection effort,” said Barbara Arnwine, Executive Director, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “This major coalition will offer comprehensive resources with one simple goal -  to ensure all eligible voters are given the opportunity to exercise their rights.”

In addition, Election Protection is announcing the launch of a campaign featuring radio ads with Hollywood star Tyler Perry, who urges voters to use the free, confidential and nonpartisan hotlines. The ads will run in major states that have traditionally experience challenges with the election process. On the web, the Election Protection resource, www.866ourvote.org, features real time voter information and extensive instructions and advice on how voters can make sure their voices are heard.

During the 2008 primaries, Election Protection found that many eligible voters across the country lost their right to vote because of inaccurate voter rolls, poorly trained poll workers and problems with voting machines.  Now, Election Protection is mobilizing tens of thousands of volunteers, including 10,000 legal volunteers to monitor polling places, educate voters, facilitate a dialogue with local and state officials, provide legal support to poll monitors, and answer the 1-866-OUR-VOTE voter services hotline – a monumental undertaking designed to ensure smooth voting in November.

Election Protection is the nation’s largest nonpartisan voter protection coalition, led by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Through its 1-866-OUR-VOTE hotline (1-866-687-8683) and dedicated team of legal experts and trained volunteers, Election Protection helps all American voters, including traditionally disenfranchised groups, gain access to the polls and overcome obstacles to voting, offering live assistance. The coalition has more than 100 partners at the national, state and local level and is providing live voter protection services now through Election Day for all 50 states.

For more information about Election Protection and the 1-866-OUR-VOTE Hotline, please visit: www.866ourvote.org.

 

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