As a record number of voters flood polling place, the Election Protection Coalition is working to answer thousands of calls arising from poll place issues and misinformation.
The organization expects a staggering 100,000 calls from voters today. It received 12,000 calls yesterday. Barbara Arnwine, executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the parent company of EPC says the organization has received more than 100,000 to date.
She says the most disturbing and common calls have been about robocalls and flyers telling voters Republicans will vote on Nov. 4 and Democrats on Nov. 5. “They’re making all kinds of excuses,” says
The official-looking fliers first appeared days ago in Virginia. But Arnwine says they’ve sprung up in Louisiana, Pittsburgh, and North Carolina.
Some robocalls “tell people the board of elections has determined that because of anticipated high voter turnout, and arranged it so Democrats can vote on Nov. 5.”
Probably one of the most fallacious attempts to deceive voters is happening in Florida where robocalls are telling people they can vote by phone. “Nowhere in this country can you vote by phone,” Arnwine says.
States reporting the most problems are (surprise, surprise) Florida, California, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Ohio and North Carolina. Aside from these attempts to keep voters from the
polls, issues with registration backlog and missing absentee ballots are threatening voter turnout.
“Because so many states this year re-did their voter registration list to comply with the Help America Vote Act, we’re seeing people being dropped from the voter registration list,” Arnwine says. Also, name misspellings have also caused some chaos.
Other problems Arnwine noted include:
• Missing absentee ballots: Many of the elderly and people with disabilities have not received their ballots. Arnwine says if this has happened and a person does not have the ability to go to the polls, they can send a relative with a note to pick up an absentee ballot.
• Vote flipping: In this case, voters select one candidate but the vote flips to another candidate. Do not cast the ballot if this happens. Tell the poll worker so you can be placed at a different booth. If this happens and the ballot is cast, you will not receive a second chance.
For more information or help call the Election Protection Coalition at 1-866-OurVote or visit the web site, 866ourvote.org. The organization also have more than 5,000 lawyers in 25 states ready to be deployed for voter emergencies.
Renita Burns the editorial assistant at BlackEnterprise.com