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ELECTION PROTECTION 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA Hotline Volunteer Training.

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Presentation on theme: "ELECTION PROTECTION 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA Hotline Volunteer Training."— Presentation transcript:

1 ELECTION PROTECTION VE-Y-VOTA Hotline Volunteer Training

2 ELECTION PROTECTION IS THE NATION’S LARGEST NON-PARTISAN VOTER PROTECTION COALITION 2

3 LatinoJustice PRLDEF champions an equitable society. Using the power of the law together with education and advocacy, LatinoJustice PRLDEF protects opportunities for all Latinos to succeed in work and school, fulfill their dreams, and sustain their families and communities. 3

4 The NALEO Educational Fund is the nation’s leading non-profit organization that facilitates full Latino participation in the American political process, from citizenship to public service. 4

5 Every election voters are disenfranchised due to:  Confusion over election rules  Poorly trained poll workers  Long lines and under resourced polling places  Improper voting list purges  Poorly administered elections  Outright acts of intimidation and deception 5 PAST FINDINGS

6 Purpose of Election Protection  Help voters  Collect data – helps paint a picture of the obstacles facing American voters 6

7 In 2012 Election Protection will:  Target at least 20 states  Run national call centers in NY, DC & CA  Run local call centers in target areas  Organize Election Day field programs National Plan

8 ELECTION PROTECTION HAS TWO PHASES: PRE-ELECTION DAY AND ELECTION DAY 8

9 Election Day Program Overview:  866 & 888 Hotlines  Our Vote Live (OVL)  Field Program  Problem-Solving Flow Chart 9

10 1-866-OUR-VOTE & Ve-Y-Vota  Centerpiece of Election Protection  OUR-VOTE and Ve-Y-Vota volunteers answer voter questions in English and Spanish  Callers are able to seek information, ask questions, and report problems – inquiries may be simple or complex. 10 HOTLINE OVERVIEW

11  Our Vote Live (OVL):  Our Vote Live is the online reporting system  Information collected from hotline calls and field volunteers is entered into the database  OVL reports will be analyzed to identify what issues voters are facing and what needs additional action 11 Our Vote Live

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14 Hotline  Call Center Roles:  Hotline Volunteers – answer the phones in call centers  Hotline Captains – Manage hotline volunteers Handle complex questions Coordinate hotline and call center operations Communicate with elections officials as necessary 14

15 Hotline Role of Hotline Volunteers:  First line of defense  Provide voters with critical information  Solve the majority of issues reported by voters  Work with Hotline Captains and Command Centers to solve larger problems  Report information into OVL system 15

16 As a hotline volunteer, DO:  Arrive 15 minutes prior to your shift start time to familiarize yourself with your workstation  Answer a ringing phone if no one is answering it (even if it is not right in front of you)  Answer the phone “Ya es hora, ¡Ve Y Vota!”  Immediately ask the voter for his/her phone number in case you need to call the voter back or you get disconnected 16

17 As a hotline volunteer, DO (cont’d):  Obtain as much identifiable information as possible from the caller: name, address, zip code, and polling location are important If a caller refuses to provide identifying information, do not persist, and provide the voter with necessary assistance Ethnic data does not have to be obtained unless the caller’s issue relates to race/ethnicity  Ask the caller how he/she heard about the hotline  Remember to log all information into Our Vote Live 17

18 Above all your most important role is to ASSIST THE VOTER. 18

19 As a hotline volunteer, DO NOT:  Enter personally identifiable information in the “public description” dialogue box on Our Vote Live  Identify yourself as a lawyer or law student or refer to the caller as a client. If asked, describe yourself as a trained volunteer  Post any reports or refer to conversations you had with a hotline caller through personal social media accounts like Twitter and Facebook 19

20 As a hotline volunteer, DO NOT:  Engage in any partisan conversation with a caller or others that you encounter while volunteering with Election Protection If a caller asks whom to vote for, decline to answer  If you do not know the answer to a question or feel uncomfortable when dealing with a caller notify a Hotline Captain 20

21 Few things to remember:  Grassroots partners and political campaigns may call into the hotline to report any problems they have encountered or reported to them. Please enter this information into Our Vote Live  Call volume is unknown. Use slow periods to ensure that all calls received are entered into OVL. 21

22 Local Legal Field Programs:  Local field programs in 20 states (multiple cities) on Election Day.  Trained legal field volunteers monitor polls and respond to issues on the ground.  Call centers receiving calls from a state will work closely with the local field program to resolve issues.  When needed, Captains and leadership will contact field program. 22

23 Hotline Resources for Hotline Volunteers:  Frequently Asked Questions for each State  Online Toolbox (see next slide)  Hotline Captains to help answer questions 23

24 24 Hotline Volunteer Toolbox

25 25 ya es hora ¡VE Y VOTA! Webpage

26 Using FAQs:  Written from the point of view of report or question called into the hotline  Contains answers to majority of inquires you will receive  When in doubt, confer with Hotline Captains  Yaeshora.info/spanish/en su Estado (Spanish…) 26

27  Examples of problems hotline volunteers should be able to resolve independently: g enerally anything that can be answered through the FAQs:  Where to vote or registration status (both available online)  Questions about voter ID requirements  Voters who have moved since registering  Questions about voter challenges  Basic information on provisional ballots 27

28 Examples of problems requiring Captains:  Poll workers part of problem  Giving wrong information about ID requirements  Confused about provisional ballot requirements  Machine breakdowns  No language assistance  Accessibility issues for people with disabilities  Questions you can’t answer with the FAQs 28

29 29 Election Day Problem Solving Flow Chart Voting Problem Hotline Volunteer Issue Resolved! Questions to Captain Issue Resolved! Contact Local Election Officials Issue Resolved! Escalate to Command Center C ALL C ENTER / F IELD

30 Contact State Election Officials Issue Resolved! 30 Election Day Problem Solving Flow Chart Voting Problem Hotline Volunteer Issue Resolved! Questions to Captain Issue Resolved! Contact Local Election Officials Issue Resolved! Problem to Command Center Deploy Field Volunteers Issue Resolved! Problem to National Command Talks to Local Command Issue Resolved! Contact State Election Officials Issue Resolved! Litigation

31  From what states will I receive calls from?  Pre-Election Day – incoming calls from all the Eastern seaboard states  Election Day – incoming calls from all the Eastern seaboard states However, when call volume at other call center(s) exceeds capacity, those calls may rollover. Volunteers have access to FAQs for all states for incoming calls. 31

32 Overview of Relevant Election Laws and Issues  Significant Election Issues and Relevant Laws - Voter Registration- Provisional Voting - Early and Absentee Voting- Assistance at Polling Place - Establishing Residency- Election Equipment and Ballots - Voter Identification- Other Polling Place Issues - Felony Disenfranchisement - Voter Challenges, Voter Intimidation, and Deceptive Practices 32

33  Overview of Relevant Federal Laws Voting Rights Act of 1965 National Voter Registration Act of 1993 Help America Vote Act of 2002 Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act of 1984 Americans with Disabilities Act 33

34  Assistance at Polling Place  Minority Language Assistance (Sections 4(e), 4(f)(4) and 203 of VRA or state laws) Applicability of above laws is based on specified formula (determined by the percentage or number of limited-English proficient voting age citizens) Limited to Spanish, Asian languages, Native American languages and Alaska Natives’ languages Assistance must cover every aspect of electoral process Assistance (written and/or oral) must meet voter needs For a list of covered jurisdictions and languages: 34

35  Assistance at Polling Place  Section 208 of the Voting Rights Act Voter who needs assistance in a language other than English or due to blindness, disability or inability to read the ballot can receive assistance from the person of his or her choice NOTE: this assistance cannot be from an agent or officer of the voter’s employer or union In-Language assistance is available, even if it is not required for that jurisdiction State laws usually track Federal requirements 35

36  Puerto Ricans and The VRA 36

37 Tricky scenarios – legitimate calls & pranksters  Hypo 1: College absentee ballot scenario  Hypo 2: Moving without updating registration: 37

38 Potential Issues:  Voter’s name not on voter roll due to – Incorrect removal procedures or clerical error Voter didn’t register  Confusion over whether voter is properly registered 38 Voter Registration

39 It’s Election Day. A voter calls who believes she is properly registered but her name does not appear on the rolls. What do you do?  Relevant questions for voters “Where and when did you register?” “Are you a first time voter?” “Have you moved since you last registered?” “Did you receive a voter registration card from the county in the mail?”  Questions help give background as to the root of the problem. 39 Voter Registration: Hypo 1

40 It’s Election Day. A voter calls who believes she is properly registered but her name does not appear on the rolls. What do you do?  Actions Check whether person is in the right precinct (i.e. look up precinct/polling place) Whether the person is voting for the first time after submitting a new voter registration and  If the person is not a first-time voter, encourage the voter to ask a poll worker to inquire whether voter is on list of inactive voters.  If the person is a first-time voter, find out where and when they registered to vote (i.e. DMV, voter registration drive) and if they received any confirmation. You should also look up their voter registration status.  If you cannot confirm their registration, encourage them to vote provisionally and call county clerk to verify the voter’s registration status before the election is certified. 40 Voter Registration

41 Potential Issues: For certain categories of voters, residency issues are more frequent: College students Members of the military and their families Elderly voters who live in different places at different times of the year Residency is a category which challengers may use to challenge voters—i.e., argue that the voter doesn’t live at stated address. 41 Establishing Residency

42 Voters Who Have Moved  Within the same Precinct  To a different Precinct but within the same county  Between counties 42 Establishing Residency

43 Potential Issues: Racially disparate enforcement of voter identification laws Misapplication of voter identification laws causing voters to be improperly challenged, improperly receive provisional ballot, or turned away entirely Voters confused about requirements or lacking proper ID States with new strict ID Laws 43 Voter Identification

44  Confusion over voter ID laws unfairly suppresses turnout among: Students Minorities Elderly The homeless Persons with Disabilities Low-income individuals 44

45  The Help America Vote Act of 2002  First-time voters registering by mail must provide a form of photo or non-photo ID either when they register to vote or the first time they vote. HAVA § 15483(b)  HAVA sets the floor for ID requirements. 45

46  Potential Issues:  Individual can’t vote because of felony conviction.  Improper purging of voters who have not been convicted of a felony  Eligibility of former felons to vote 46 Felony Disenfranchisement

47  Potential Issues : “Dirty tricks” – voters are deceived about the time, place, or manner of elections, or falsely led to believe that they may be subject to prosecution if they vote Voter caging – where a candidate or party sends a mass mailing and challenges voters (or classes of voters) whose mailing comes back as undeliverable En masse challenges to groups based on their status (such as students or the military) or their race, ethnicity or surname Intimidation – inappropriate activity or police presence near polling place 47

48 Potential Issues: Some State laws require voters to be in the proper precinct for the provisional ballot (or affidavit ballot) to count Poll workers fail to inform voters of this requirement Poll workers fail to direct voters to the proper precinct Poll workers fail to make sure that the provisional ballot envelope is complete Poll workers fail to provide toll-free number allowing voters to verify whether their ballots were counted, as required by HAVA Election officials who wrongly issue provisional ballot or do not issue one at all even though required by law 48 Provisional Voting

49  Federal: The Help America Vote Act of 2002  In all Federal elections, states must offer provisional ballots (or affidavit ballot) if the voter’s eligibility to vote (in the precinct) is in question. 49 Provisional Voting

50  Things to remember:  Make sure the voter is in the correct precinct or polling location  Make sure the voter is informed of “next steps” if voting provisionally because of ID requirements  Make sure voter verifies whether provisional ballot was counted 50

51 Potential Issues: Insufficient number of machines (of any type) Unequal distribution of machines Inadequate response to equipment breakdowns (failure to replace machines quickly or offer non-provisional paper ballots) Poll worker problems with operating machines Poorly designed ballots Precincts running out of ballots Confusion over new voting machines 51 Election Equipment and Ballots

52 Potential Issues: Failure to provide required language assistance to voters as required by VRA No translation or poor translation of written materials Insufficient or poorly trained bilingual poll workers and election officials Poll worker who insists that only they can assist a voter Inaccessible polling locations or voting machines Refusal to make curbside voting available 52 Assistance at Polling Place

53 It is after the time the poll should be open and the polling place is not open. What should a voter or volunteer do? 53 Immediately contact the Captain and encourage the voter to stay in line. Polling Place Not Open

54  Insufficient resources, poor planning, poor poll worker training, or poll workers who do not follow proper procedures  These other problems include: Problems with electronic poll books Polls opening late or closing early Inadequate communications between boards of election and poll workers Long lines and the failure of election officials to recognize the reason(s) for long lines and respond accordingly 54 Other Polling Place Issues

55  Questions?  Comments? 55

56 THANK YOU FOR VOLUNTEERING!


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