Civil Rights Groups Announce Election Protection Program in Massachusetts

Racial Justice, Voting Rights

On the eve of the 2016 election, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law announce the launch of Election Protection to protect the rights of voters across the state of Massachusetts this election cycle. The Election Protection program, which includes a coalition of local and state organizations, is the nation’s leading non-partisan voter protection program. With days to go before the presidential election, the Election Protection program has been working to identity and resolve barriers that voters are facing this election cycle.

Election Protection works to ensure that all eligible Americans have the ability to cast a meaningful ballot and have their vote counted.  To date, our election protection hotline (866-OUR-VOTE) has already received more than 50,000 calls from voters across the country in English, Spanish and several Asian languages.

Election Protection also has an Election Day field program that provides “on the ground” assistance and guidance with the voting process in Massachusetts. In Massachusetts alone, Election Protection includes over 500 legal and grassroots volunteers. Election Protection includes pro bono attorneys, students, and community members who are providing a constructive, community-oriented, and non-partisan effort to safeguard voting rights this election cycle.

In Massachusetts, incidents during early voting have highlighted the critical need for Election Protection. Election officials have improperly requested IDs in polling sites, including in Hyde Park; people with disabilities have reported a lack of accessible infrastructure at a polling site in Quincy; and an organized partisan group has threatened to intimidate and challenge voters, specifically in Whitman. These are all barriers that discourage eligible Americans from casting their vote. Election Protection is working closely with the Elections Division of the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to tackle these problems in real time to ensure that every vote counts.  In Massachusetts, we are committed to working with our volunteers to protect and assist all voters.

Massachusetts Election Protection is coordinated by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice. This program is part of National Election Protection, which is coordinated by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

The launch of election protection in Massachusetts was featured on NPR, the Bay State Banner, and El Planeta.