New York Civic Groups Offer Voter Assistance on Election Day

Affiliate: ACLU of New York
October 29, 2004 12:00 am

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NEW YORK–The New York Civil Liberties Union, along with a coalition of civic groups, today announced initiatives to inform New Yorkers of their voting rights, including launching a helpline for voters to be staffed for 12 hours on Election Day.

“There’s been a lot of attention focused on the problems voters may face in other states, but we have our fair share of problems right here in New York,” said Donna Lieberman, Executive Director of the NYCLU. “We’re committed to making sure that this fundamental right isn’t abused.”

Volunteers for the coalition, which includes the New York Public Interest Research Group, Common Cause/NY and Just Democracy in addition to the NYCLU, will be monitoring conditions at poll sites across the city and surveying voters on whether they experienced problems when voting. The groups expect to have monitors at 150 sites across the five boroughs, more than ten percent of the total number in the city.

“New York shouldn’t be the next Florida,” said Neal Rosenstein, coordinator of the New York Public Interest Research Group’s Democracy Project. “If there are problems at the polls, we want to know about them and we will try and make sure they stop.”

Megan Quattlebaum of Common Cause/NY added, “Our helpline can inform voters of their rights, take complaints and assist voters with basic information about the election.”

The helpline, 212-822-0282, will be in operation from 7am to 7pm on Election Day. New York City residents also can find voter information at 866-868-3692.

In coordination with the NYCLU and other state affiliates, the ACLU has distributed more than 100,000 voter empowerment cards in English and Spanish, which contain information for voters on their rights and ways to avoid problems when voting.

The cards are available for download at

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