Despite the many efforts to disenfranchise voters – whether nefarious or incompetent – an estimated 64% of voters cast a ballot this year, the best turnout in 100 years.
What was the ACLU’s role in all of this?
In addition to providing over 35 state-specific voter empowerment cards, filing legal challenges in multiple states and joining Election Protection, the ACLU Voting Rights Project set up a voter information and assistance hotline to help people know their voting rights.
From September 29 through Election Day, the ACLU received nearly 500 calls. Here is a run-down on what the calls were about:
195 general calls: voters locating their polling place and polling place hours, verifying registration status, and inquiring about laws regarding time off to vote
61 administrative issue calls: problems at polling places, statewide database issues, long lines, voter purges, challengers, poll workers, and phone lines
23 calls about absentee ballots: voters never received the ballots, states were tardy in mailing absentee ballots, and/or the county never receiving a completed ballot from the voter
69 calls regarding felon enfranchisement: to verify if a formerly convicted person could vote, a number of calls in Georgia where persons never convicted were denied the right to vote
45 electioneering calls: reports of campaigning within the designated area of polling places, rules about wearing candidate-specific paraphernalia to the polls
10 calls on voting and voting rights for those with disabilities
5 student voting-related calls
35 miscellaneous callers wanted to voice their opinion about the electoral system, engage in partisan banter, or request our published material
The VRP is continuing to take calls and follow-up on many of these items. Click here for the full prliminary report. Check back for a more detailed report after we’ve completed initial follow-up, detailed monitoring efforts by the ACLU affiliates, and obtained further information and decisions regarding voting rights lawsuits.