November 8, 2016
Contact: Timna Axel, Communications Associate
Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
email@example.com | 312-888-4194
Chicago – As Illinois poll places open their doors for today’s general election, some experts are predicting a record breaking surge in voter turnout – and potentially a surge in problems as well.
The Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights (CLC) is partnering with the national nonpartisan voter protection coalition, Election Protection, to protect the right of every citizen to vote. More than 300 legal volunteers have been trained to monitor polling places in Chicago and the surrounding counties, and to staff the 866-OUR-VOTE hotline.
Throughout the day, the 866-OUR-VOTE hotline will be open to all voters, election officials, and poll watchers who need assistance addressing questions about Election Day Registration, provisional ballots, improper requests for ID, and other issues. CLC encourages all voters to call the hotline to report any incidents of overcrowding and long lines, voter intimidation, and deceptive practices, so these issues can be tracked and addressed with election officials.
In addition, the United States Justice Department has announced that its Civil Rights Division will monitor compliance with federal voting laws, including in Chicago and Cook County. Complaints related to disruption at a polling place should be reported immediately to local election officials, including officials in the polling place. Complaints related to violence, threats of violence or intimidation at a polling place should be reported immediately to local police authorities by calling 911.
Ami Gandhi, Director of Voting Rights and Civic Empowerment, is closely monitoring today’s events.
“The 866-OUR-VOTE hotline is open and our trained volunteers are answering calls. We want voters to feel comfortable sharing their stories and questions with us, regardless of which party they vote for. Together, we can ensure that every eligible person is able to cast a ballot today.”
Bilingual hotlines are also open today for Spanish speakers (888-VE-Y-VOTA) and in Cantonese, Mandarin, Tagalog, Korean, and Vietnamese (888-API-VOTE). Information about Election Day Registration and other Election Day resources can be found at http://www.votingrightsillinois.org/election-protection.
Media Note: For media interviews or Election Day observations, please contact Ami Gandhi at firstname.lastname@example.org or 773.251.1010. Election Protection spokespersons are also available; please contact Staci Burgess at email@example.com or 202.662.8317 to coordinate.