Local News

Advocates To Man Voting Hotline On Election Day

Posted October 28, 2004

— Election advocates are doing everything they can to make sure there are no voting problems -- even if it means manning phones on Election Day.

At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Government, attorneys and law students will be ready to answer phone calls on Tuesday.

Election Protection

is a nationwide initiative to make sure every vote counts.

The North Carolina chapter of the nonpartisan group will take part by manning a legal hotline so people can report problems at the polls.

Thousands of North Carolina voters have already cast their votes. Thousand more are waiting until Nov. 2. In the last presidential election, North Carolina had more votes cast, but not counted, than the national average. Election Protection wants to make sure that does not happen again.

"It is for a number of reasons and one of the big ones possibly being the straight ticket issue that it doesn't cast a vote for president," said Tara Purohit of the Voting Rights Project. "I think it also speaks to the fact that there needs to be more voter education about how you cast an informed ballot."

Along with a hotline, they will have volunteer monitors at polling places with a history of problems. Attorneys will be on call in every region of the state and can go out to a polling place where problems have been reported.

"The laws governing voting can actually be fairly complex, and we've been doing a series of trainings for attorneys as well as our hall monitors. We think attorneys can do a good job of advocating for voters rights and solving problems," said Anita Earls of the UNC Center for Civil Rights.

The hotline number is (866) OUR-VOTE or (866) 687-8683.

Phones lines will be open on Election Day from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Polls are open on Election Day from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

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