By Lisa Newcomb
With 47 days until the November general election, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) announced a voter education and outreach campaign.
“In an unprecedented election year, rife with misinformation flowing from the highest levels, voters must be educated on how, where, and when they can vote, and how to advocate for their constitutional right to cast a ballot when obstacles are thrown in their way,” Rebecca Lowell Edwards, chief communications officer for the ACLU, said in a statement this week.
“As politicians play politics with people’s lives instead of enacting common sense measures—including expanded early voting periods and universal access to vote by mail—the ACLU has been at the frontlines to protect and expand the right to vote for all eligible voters,” Lowell Edwards said. “We’re calling on voters to make a plan, request their ballot where they can, and to encourage their friends to do the same.”
“With 14.6 million Latinos expected to cast a ballot this November, this is a crucial step towards ensuring all Latinos have access to bilingual voting information.”
Raul Preciado, NALEO
The ACLU offered further information on the outreach campaign on Twitter on Monday, “Call 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) or live chat with an Election Protection volunteer at 866ourvote.org if you have any voting questions.”
The campaign, called “Let People Vote,” features an online “educational tool” with state-by-state guidelines for voter registration, voting deadlines, and mail-in voting options. It will also feature voting-themed face masks and ‘At The Polls,’ a weekly podcast mini-series on the top questions regarding the 2020 election, including what election night will look like and the state of the United States Postal Service.
National Voter Registration Day
The National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) recognizes September as National Voter Registration Month. This historic 2020 election cycle, highlights the importance of voter participation and awareness around the voting process. NASS continues to partner with other non-profits and organizations to promote National Voter Registration Day, which is Tuesday, September 22.
“As we quickly approach the general election, now is the time to register to vote or check your voter registration,” said NASS President and New México Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver. “It is also absolutely critical to get your information from state and local election officials to ensure you are receiving timely, accurate election updates.”
To find your election official or to learn more about your state’s specific voter registration requirements visit canivote.org, a helpful nonpartisan website created by state election officials to help eligible individuals learn how and where to go vote. In addition, learn more about NASS’s #TrustedInfo2020 effort to highlight state and local election officials as trusted sources of election information.
League of Women Voters and NALEO
The League of Women Voters Education Fund launched an election website VOTE411.org in Spanish, in partnership with the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund.
“With so many changes to election information this cycle, VOTE411 is the best tool to keep voters updated on the changes and to counter misinformation about elections,” said Alma Couverthie, National Organizing Director of the League of Women Voters. “Election rules differ by state and jurisdiction and we want Spanish-speaking voters to have all the information at their fingertips as they prepare to safely cast their ballots.”
Already in 2020 VOTE411 has served more than two million users and provided state by state primary alerts throughout the season with changes due to COVID-19.
“NALEO Educational Fund is proud to partner with the League of Women Voters on the launch of VOTE411 in Spanish,” said Raul Preciado, Ve y Vota Campaign Manager at NALEO Educational Fund. “With 14.6 million Latinos expected to cast a ballot this November, this is a crucial step towards ensuring all Latinos have access to bilingual voting information.”
Through the remaining election season, information on VOTE411.org will be updated daily to reflect any changes to rules or deadlines that voters should follow.
Voter Protection Corps
March On announced the launch of the Voter Protection Corps, a program that will aggressively combat voter suppression through training, engaging and mobilizing young organizers in communities vulnerable to disenfranchisement. To form this Corps, March On is recruiting Voter Protection Captains from the Divine 9 Black fraternities and sororities, as well as women, veterans, young professionals, college students and recent graduates.
In 14 key states, these young Corps leaders will establish relationships with local election protection initiatives, election officials and community leaders. Trained by lawyers to know local election laws backwards and forwards, they will help voters to exercise their rights to mail-in voting and early voting. Corps members will train volunteers for a total of 7,000+ Corps members protecting the right to vote.
“With closed polling places, broken machines, long lines and the assault on mail-in ballots, voter suppression efforts have reached dangerous new heights in 2020,” said Andi Pringle, Director of Strategic and Political Campaigns with March On. “Coupled with a global pandemic, these efforts threaten our ability to hold a free, fair and safe election in November. March On is looking for young leaders who are fired up to turn out the vote and protect democracy.”
Captains should live and operate in one of the 14 key states which include AL, AZ, CO, FL, GA, KY, MI, MS, NC, PA, SC, TX, VA and WI.
For more information or to apply to join the Voter Protection Corps, visit WeAreMarchOn.org/voter-protection-corps/.
Lisa Newcomb is a Staff Writer with Common Dreams. The Weekly Issue/El Semanario contributed to this article.
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