The project provides hotlines, on-site assistance to report voting irregularities

OVERLAND PARK – The ACLU of Kansas announced that it will lead a nonpartisan, state-wide, rapid response network of hotlines and volunteers safeguarding the voting process.

The effort, Election Protection, seeks volunteers as the state primary and general election approach. In partnership with the Kansas City law firm Stinson Leonard Street, LLC., it provides voter hotlines as well as field programs offering on-site assistance at polling places in target areas.

Election Protection is more relevant than ever. Kansas voters will need some clarity in the wake of a federal judge last month rolling back proof of citizenship requirements previously enacted by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

“Voting is one of the most important things we do as citizens and we want to make sure that all eligible voters get to exercise this sacred right,” said American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Kansas Executive Director Micah Kubic. “Citizens actually participating makes our democracy stronger.”

The hotlines allow callers to ask voting-related questions or to report problems encountered while attempting to vote. Trained volunteers staff the hotlines and sometimes work with election officials to resolve issues. Calls are logged in a database, tracked for trends, and followed up when necessary.

The 2018 Kansas primary election takes place Aug. 7, 2018. The 2018 Kansas gubernatorial election is set for Nov. 6, 2018.

The hotlines are nonpartisan and any and all voters are encouraged to call the hotlines. Any organization may include the hotline phone number(s) on its materials.

Hotlines

·         866-OUR-VOTE provides assistance in English – administered by the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law;
·         888-VE-Y-VOTA provides bilingual assistance in English and Spanish – administered by NALEO Educational Fund;
·         888-API-VOTE provides assistance in Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Begali, Hindi, Urdu and Tagalog – administered by APIA Vote and Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC).

Hotline calls will be answered live on primary election day (Aug. 7, 2018) and on the general election day (Nov. 6, 2018) as well as during the weeks leading up to both elections. After-hours calls are directed to voicemail and promptly returned. The three hotlines integrate the collected data to track systemic issues and to alleviate those issues in real time as well as to reinforce the importance of voting at the local and state levels.

Field Programs

The ACLU’s Election Protection effort is also recruiting volunteers to provide on-site assistance to voters at polling places in certain areas.

In Kansas, Election Protection is focused on all under-represented voters with an emphasis on voters in these counties: Johnson, Wyandotte, Sedgwick, Shawnee, Lyon, Ford, Finney, Seward, Reno, and Douglas.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact Mark E. McCormick at: mmccormick@aclukansas.org or at: (913) 490-4113.

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