ATLANTA – The American Civil Liberties Union launched its 2010 voter empowerment program today. As part of this effort, ACLU affiliates have distributed voter education materials in 19 states that inform voters of their rights on Election Day and how to avoid problems when casting a ballot.
"The ACLU is working hard to ensure that all voters' rights are protected and that every vote is counted on November 2," said Fred McBride, Redistricting Project Coordinator with the ACLU Voting Rights Project. "There is just too much at stake for people to be denied their right to choose their leaders."
The cards, which are being distributed by ACLU state affiliates and are available for download at www.aclu.org/voter, summarize the basic state and federal laws pertaining to every voter and list emergency contact numbers for voters to call if they encounter problems at the polls. The cards also provide answers to common questions such as: Where do I vote? Is identification required? How can I minimize potential problems?
Voter education materials have been created for voters in 19 states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New York, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Voters can report complaints on a wide range of elections issues – including equipment malfunctions, access to the polls and discriminatory or illegal election practices – by calling the ACLU toll-free help line: (877) 523-2792. Many states will also have information about voting with a criminal conviction available.
"With Election Day right around the corner, we are pleased to offer an important tool to help people exercise their fundamental right to vote," said Laughlin McDonald, Director of the ACLU Voting Rights Project. "You never know what might happen at the polls – that's why voters must be as informed as possible."
Through a multi-pronged effort of litigation and legislative advocacy, the ACLU is on the front lines fighting the important constitutional battle to protect voting rights. The ACLU has challenged voter suppression efforts throughout the country, including unlawful voter purges and photo identification laws.