While claims that the election is "rigged" and talk of large-scale voter fraud may be overblown, voters far too often face problems when going to vote. Our friends at the Liberty Tree Foundation have put together an excellent organizing guide: Standing Against Voter Intimidation.
No Stolen Elections are encouraging people to organize Voter Assemblies to provide a space where people can come together post-election to discuss any incidences of voter suppression and election fraud.
These kinds of gatherings were an essential part of the Green Party demand for a recount of the 2004 Presidential vote in Ohio, allowing people to sidestep the mainstream media's blackout on election integrity issues. Please read the Voter Assembly Organizing Guide and Register Your Voter Assembly today.
Voting problems can range from improperly trained poll workers giving out inaccurate information about provisional ballots (see Provisional Balloting section below) to deceptive practices, voter challenges (see Voter Challengers section below) and voter intimidation (see Voter Intimidation section below). Read our press release: Stein/Baraka Campaign Welcomes International Election Observers, Calls for Protection and Accountability Against Voter Suppression & Irregularities.
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For immediate assistance please call one of the numbers below:
Call 866-OUR-VOTE for assistance led by Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Persons with disabilities who have voting issues will be transferred to the corresponding National Disability Rights Network-affiliated Protection & Advocacy organization in their respective state.
Call 888-Ve-Y-Vota for bilingual assistance (English/Spanish) hosted by NALEO Educational fund
Call 888-API-VOTE for assistance in English Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Bengali, Urdu, Hindi and Tagalog through partner hotline hosted by APIAVote and Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC.
Call 844-418-1682 for bilingual (English/Arabic) assistance through the Arab American Institute's #YallaVote hotline
Ballot Box Selfies: Please read to see if legal in your state!
Provisional Balloting (from Election Protection)
A voter has the right to cast a provisional ballot if he or she believes they are eligible and registered to vote but is unable to cast a regular ballot, due to reasons such as the voter’s name not appearing on the registration list at the polling place, the voter does not have a required form of voter identification, or an election official challenges the voter’s eligibility. After a voter has cast a provisional ballot, election officials determine whether or not to count the provisional ballot by verifying the voter’s eligibility . Sometimes states require voters to take additional steps to verify their eligibility in order for the provisional ballot to count such as submitting an acceptable form of identification at a board of elections office within a specified time period after Election Day.
It is important to know that many poll workers are improperly trained to handle provisional ballots, and may fail to inform voters’ of their right to cast a provisional ballot. Poll workers may also mistakenly misinform an eligible voter entitled to cast a regular ballot that the voter must instead cast provisional ballot. Voters should therefore insist on their right to cast a normal ballot when their eligibility has not been challenged or called into question, and their right to cast a provisional ballot the voter believes he or she is eligible to vote but eligibility cannot be immediately determined. Voters facing any issues on Election Day should not hesitate to contact 866-OUR-VOTE for assistance.
Voters should be aware that areas with high percentages of racial and ethnic minority voters have the highest rates of provisional ballots, and a large proportion of these ballots are typically rejected. Therefore, voters should take steps in advance of Election Day to ensure they will be able to cast a regular ballot, such as verifying they are registered to vote and ensuring they have the proper form of identification required by state law. Visit www.866ourvote.org to assist you with these steps.
There are no clear and uniform standards for counting provisional ballots. For example, many states do not count provisional ballots cast in the wrong precinct, while others do. Provisional ballots are typically rejected for one of four reasons: (1) the voter is not registered to vote; (2) the voter cast the provisional ballot in the wrong precinct or jurisdiction; (3) the voter did not complete or sign the provisional ballot; or (4) the voter did not provide sufficient identification. Though it may be difficult on Election Day for a voter to know whether his or her provisional ballot will be counted, under the Help America Vote Act ALL states are required to provide provisional voters an opportunity to find out afterwards whether their provisional ballot was counted or rejected and, if rejected, the reasons for the rejection.
Voters concerned about filling out provisional ballots should not hesitate to call 866-OUR-VOTE for further information.
Voter Intimidation (from Election Protection)
Voter intimidation involves putting undue pressure on or trying to coerce a person or group to suppress votes or to vote a certain way. There is an ugly history of voter intimidation targeting low-income and minority voters. More recently, deceptive election practices have become more widespread, taking the place of historical state-sanctioned discrimination in voting like literacy tests and poll taxes. These practices include the dissemination of false election information sent out through flyers, robocalls, the internet, and through social media, and low-income and minority voters remain frequent targets. Some of the more notorious examples of voter intimidation include:
- Voters being threatened with arrest at their polling station if they have unpaid child support or unpaid parking tickets.
- Misleading robocalls to African-Americans in Maryland stating that there was no need to go vote because “our goals have been met”.
- Fliers in Ohio and Virginia telling voters that Republicans vote on the actual election day while Democrats vote the day after.
- Challenges to African-American voters in Philadelphia by men carrying clipboards who drove a fleet of sedans with signs that looked like law enforcement insignia.
Voters concerned that they are being targeted by deceptive election practices, in addition to alerting local authorities, should immediately contact 1-866-OUR-VOTE, because it is very unlikely they are the only ones and these practices must be stopped.
Voter Challengers (from Election Protection)
Generally, voter challengers can question the eligibility of a voter on Election Day before a voter completes and casts a ballot. Depending on state law, these challengers might be appointed by political parties or other organizations. Voter challenges are often fraught with discriminatory practices and can intimidate qualified voters from voting. Also, the problem voter challenger systems supposedly address – voter fraud – is mostly illusory.
Challengers also cause Election Day confusion by creating delays and uncertainty, and can easily intimidate voters, particularly because mass challenges might be based solely upon the race of voters. An Ohio Republican Party plan in 2004, for example, would have involved challengers confronting 97% of new African-American voters in one location while only 14% of new voters in a majority white precinct would face a challenger.