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Election protection training


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    • 1. Election Protection Volunteer Training Election Protection: THE NATION’S LARGEST NON-PARTISANNON-PARTISAN VOTER PROTECTION COALITION
    • 2. 2 Election Protection Volunteer Training Beginning of Election Protection
    • 3. 3 Election Protection Volunteer Training 2000 Presidential Election 4 - 6 Million votes lost. Election decided by 537 votes. 2008: Coleman v. Franken Initial Count: Coleman by 215 votes. Certified Recount: Franken by 225 votes. Court Ruling: Franken by 312 votes.
    • 4. 4 Election Protection Volunteer Training Voters in Minnesota Experience Real Barriers: • In 2004, out-of-state challengers harassed voters on the Red Lake Reservation to the point that tribal officials removed them from the reservation. Challengers also were present in low- turnout neighborhoods in Minneapolis and St. Paul. • Election judges could not communicate with Somali voters in Cedar-Riverside in 2006, and in 2008, there were allegations of improper voter assistance by a translator. • An election judge blocked a Hmong woman from taking her young son into the voting booth with her in 2006. The son was her translator, so the woman could only mark the ballot randomly.
    • 5. 5 Election Protection Volunteer Training 1-866-OUR VOTE 1-888-Ve-Y-Vota
    • 7. 7 Election Protection Volunteer Training Findings of Past Election Protection Programs Our system of elections is broken and too many voters are disenfranchised due to: - Confusion over election rules and regulations - Poorly trained poll workers - Long lines and under-resourced polling places - Improper voting list purges - Poorly administered elections - Outright acts of intimidation and deception
    • 8. 8 Election Protection Volunteer Training In 2010, Election Protection: - Is targeting 20 states - Has the ability to handle up to 300 simultaneous calls to the national hotlines - National call centers in NY, DC and CA and several local call centers, including MN - Has Election Day field programs in nearly 40 communities, including the Twin Cities
    • 9. 9 Election Protection Volunteer Training On Election Day, the Coalition: - Supports voters and takes in reports of problems through the 1- 866-OUR-VOTE and 1-888-Ve-Y-Vota hotlines - Coordinates legal and non-legal field deployments at targeted polling places - Solves problems - Litigates where necessary - Collects data to paint a clear picture of the problems plaguing America’s voters We focus on groups that are traditionally disenfranchised at the polls--African Americans, Latinos, Asians, Native Americans, youth, people with disabilities and the elderly.
    • 10. 10 Election Protection Volunteer Training Overview • Overview of Election Protection Structure • Overview of Minnesota Election Law • Role-Specific Training – Hotline Volunteers – Mobile Legal Volunteers
    • 11. 11 Election Protection Volunteer Training Voter’s Problem Election Day Problem Solving
    • 12. 12 Election Protection Volunteer Training Minnesota’s Election Protection Structure • Reference materials on Minnesota election law: FAQ, Voter Registration Guide & Election Protection Manual. • Minnesota will host a local call center on November 1st and 2nd at Dorsey & Whitney’s offices in Minneapolis. • We will have Mobile Legal Volunteers in the field monitoring poll sites in the Twin Cities area, and possibly other cities around the state. In 2008, we covered 29 cities and towns. • We have litigators around the state prepared to file should the need arise.
    • 13. 13 Election Protection Volunteer Training National Hotline Overview • 1-866-OUR-VOTE is a national number. There is also a national Spanish language number: 1-888-Ve-Y-Vota. (Spanish calls to 1-866-OUR-VOTE are transferred to the 1-888-Ve-Y-Vota.) • On Election Day there will be phones in multiple call centers across the country. • Calls will be routed to different call centers by area code. • Cell phone callers will be rerouted should their area code not match their physical location
    • 14. 14 Election Protection Volunteer Training Mobile Field Volunteers • Volunteer teams of two assigned to monitor multiple polling places • Will call in problems to 1-866-OUR-VOTE • Will also be dispatched to specific locations as needed based on calls to 1-866-OUR-VOTE and MLV reports
    • 15. 15 Election Protection Volunteer Training Our Vote Live • Our Vote Live is the web interface for the Our Vote Database • Information collected from the hotline and MLVs is entered into an online database. • Throughout Election Day, reports will be analyzed to determine what issues voters are facing and which require additional action. • This data will also be used after the election to identify areas for further reform.
    • 16. 16 Election Protection Volunteer Training Overview of Federal Laws • Voting Rights Act of 1965: – Anti-intimidation provision, Section 11(b) – Voter Assistance due to disability or inability to read or write, Section 208 • 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
    • 17. 17 Election Protection Volunteer Training Minnesota Law: Significant Issues • Eligibility • Registration • Identification • Challenges • Accessibility • Polling Place Hours • Prohibited Conduct • Absentee Voting • Election Equipment and Ballots
    • 18. 18 Election Protection Volunteer Training Problems MN Doesn’t Currently Have • Voter caging – where a candidate or party send 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 • Provisional ballots • Deceptive practices – Minnesota law prohibits people from giving out inaccurate information
    • 19. 19 Election Protection Volunteer Training Voter Registration: Potential Issues  Voter’s name incorrectly left off register due to Incorrect removal procedures Clerical errors  Voter confusion over whether he or she is properly registered
    • 20. 20 Election Protection Volunteer Training Voter Registration • Minnesota law provides that you may pre-register anytime up to 20 days before the election [October 12, 2010]. • If you are not pre-registered, you may also register at the polling place on Election Day (or, if eligible to vote by absentee ballot, by enclosing a completed registration card with the absentee ballot). • Voters who are already registered are required only to sign a roster stating that they are properly registered and have not already voted. The election judge may ask voters to confirm their address and/or date of birth. • No photo identification is required if registered.
    • 21. 21 Election Protection Volunteer Training Eligibility • To be eligible to vote, an individual must: – Be a US Citizen; – Be at least 18 years old on or before the next election; and – Have resided in Minnesota for 20 days immediately preceding the election. • An individual is not eligible to vote if: – They have been convicted of a felony and their civil rights have not been restored; – They are under guardianship in which the court order revokes the individual’s right to vote; or – They have been found by a court to be legally incompetent. • If a voter has not voted in four years or more, the voter must re- register to be eligible to vote.
    • 22. 22 Election Protection Volunteer Training Felony Disenfranchisement • In Minnesota, a person who has been convicted of a felony and is incarcerated or is on parole or probation for a felony conviction may not vote. • Civil rights are automatically restored once a person is fully discharged from their sentence. • Problems include: – Eligible voters improperly marked as “challenged” on voter rolls because of an old felony sentence – A lack of information about the restoration of rights; many people think they can never vote again if they have a felony
    • 23. 23 Election Protection Volunteer Training Election Day Registration • To register on election day, a voter needs to prove their residency in the precinct, complete an application and take an oath. • If a voter has moved since they registered, they must update their registration by completing a registration application with their new address.
    • 24. 24 Election Protection Volunteer Training Election Day Registration – Option #1 • A photo ID with a current address – A Minnesota driver’s license, learner’s permit or ID • The receipt for any of these works – A photo tribal identification card with an address – A current valid student identification card from a postsecondary educational institution in Minnesota, if a list of students from that institution has been prepared and certified to the county auditor
    • 25. 25 Election Protection Volunteer Training Election Day Registration – Option #2 • Acceptable photo IDs include: – Minnesota Driver’s License or ID (with old address) – Student ID – Passport – Military ID – Tribal ID without address • Acceptable Utility Bills – Electric, waste, sewer, gas, water, telephone (any kind), cable (any kind), rent statement with itemized utilities – Due date within 30 days before or after election day If a voter does not have an acceptable ID with a current address, they may use a photo ID with an old address, PLUS a utility bill with their current address. +
    • 26. 26 Election Protection Volunteer Training Election Day Registration – Option #3 Voucher • If the voter does not have a photo ID and a utility bill with their current address, they can have a registered voter from the precinct sign an oath vouching that the voter knows the applicant is a resident of the precinct.
    • 27. 27 Election Protection Volunteer Training Residents of Residential Facilities • Includes supervised living facilities, veterans homes, group residential housing, shelters for battered women, and homeless shelters • An employee employed by and working in the residential facility may vouch for a resident by signing an oath stating that the employee personally knows that the individual is a resident of the precinct.
    • 28. 28 Election Protection Volunteer Training Problems Relating to Identification • Election judges asking for identification when it is not needed • Election judges not accepting forms of identification that are acceptable • Voters not having the required identification
    • 29. 29 Election Protection Volunteer Training Election Day Challenges • On election day, an election judge, watcher, clerk or inspector of the election or a registered voter properly in the polling place may challenge an individual the person knows or reasonably believes is not a registered voter. • The challenger must be a Minnesota resident and must sign an oath indicating the grounds for challenge and that the challenge is based on personal knowledge. • The election judge will have the voter swear an oath that they will answer the questions truthfully. • The election judge will then ask the voter questions to verify that they are eligible to vote. • If the answers do not show that the challenged voter is ineligible, the voter will be allowed to vote; the election judge will verbally administer the oath and the voter must complete and sign the voter certificate to vote. • Challenged voters that refuse to answer the questions or sign the polling place roster may not vote, even if they return later and agree then to answer questions. Voters shouldn’t leave because they are frustrated or confused.
    • 30. 30 Election Protection Volunteer Training Accessibility and Language Issues • Voters who are unable to enter a polling place must be offered curbside voting. • Voters who claim a need for assistance because of physical inability to mark the ballot, inability to read or speak English, or inability to hear may obtain assistance from any individual the voter chooses. • Each polling place has an AutoMark machine with enlarged text and headphones that allows voters with disabilities to mark their ballots independently.
    • 31. 31 Election Protection Volunteer Training Polling Place Location • Hotline volunteers will have access to a polling site locator. • Mobile Legal Volunteers can call into the hotline if they encounter a voter with a question about polling site location.
    • 32. 32 Election Protection Volunteer Training Polling Place Hours • Polls are open from 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. • Towns with fewer than 500 residents located outside the metro area can sometimes open later. • A key role of the hotline is to report late openings and early closings. • If someone is in line at 8:00 p.m., they have the right to vote.
    • 33. 33 Election Protection Volunteer Training Who May be Present • Representatives of the Secretary of State’s office, county auditor’s office, or school district clerk’s office • One challenger from each major political party • Election Judges • Persons providing assistance to a voter • Other individuals may only remain in the polling place while voting, registering, providing proof of residence, or assisting a voter • Exit pollsters
    • 34. 34 Election Protection Volunteer Training Prohibited Conduct • Only election officials or those voting, registering, waiting to do so or exit polling may go within 100 feet of the polling place. • No election judge or person assisting voters may attempt to persuade the voter. • No one may threaten or coerce individuals to vote in a particular manner. • No campaign material may be posted within 100 feet of a polling place, including the property on which the polling place is located.
    • 35. 35 Election Protection Volunteer Training Absentee Voting • Any registered voter who reasonably expects to be unable to go to their polling place on election day for the following reasons may vote by absentee ballot: – Will be absent from the precinct – Illness – Disability – Religious discipline or observance of a religious holiday – Service as an election judge • This may include YOU! • Voters may apply for absentee ballots at any time before election day and may vote either by mail or in person. • New requirements for submitting absentee ballots • No Election Day override; if ballot has been accepted 4th day before the election, absentee voter may not cast another ballot.
    • 36. 36 Election Protection Volunteer Training Election Equipment and Ballots • Procedure if machines go down • Back-up machines • Voters sometimes complain that others can see how they are voting.