ELECTIONPROTECTION 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA Hotline Volunteer Training
2 ELECTION PROTECTION IS THE NATION’S LARGEST NON- PARTISAN VOTER PROTECTION COALITION
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.
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.
5 PAST Every election voters are disenfranchised due to: FINDINGS 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
6 Purpose of Election Protection Help voters Collect data – helps paint a picture of the obstacles facing American voters
7 2012 National Plan 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
8 ELECTION PROTECTION HAS TWO PHASES: PRE-ELECTION DAY AND ELECTION DAY
9 Election Day Program Overview: 866 & 888 Hotlines Our Vote Live (OVL) Field Program Problem-Solving Flow Chart
10 HOTLINE OVERVIEW 1-866-OUR-VOTE & 1-888-Ve-Y-Vota Centerpiece of Election Protection 1-866-OUR-VOTE and 1-888-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.
11 Our Vote Our Vote Live (OVL): Liveonline reporting system Our Vote Live is the 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
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
15 Hotline Role of Hotline Volunteers: Firstline 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
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
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
18 Above all your most important role is to ASSIST THE VOTER.
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
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
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.
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.
23 Hotline Resources for Hotline Volunteers: Frequently Asked Questions for each State Online Toolbox (see next slide) Hotline Captains to help answer questions
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…)
27 Examples of problems hotline volunteers should be able to resolve independently: generally 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
28 Examples of problems requiring Captains: Poll workers part of problem Givingwrong 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
Election Day Problem Solving Flow Chart29 Escalate Voting to Problem Command CALL CENTER / Center Contact FIELD Hotline Question Local Voluntee s to Captain Election r Officials Issue Issue Issue Resolve Resolve Resolve d! d! d!
Election Day Problem Solving Flow Chart30 Litigation Problem Problem to Voting to National Problem Comman Comman d Center d Contact Deploy Contact Talks to Contact Question Hotline Local Field State Local State s toVolunteer Election Volunteer Election Comman Election Captain s Officials Officials d Officials Issue Issue Issue Issue Issue Issue IssueResolved Resolved Resolved Resolved Resolved Resolved Resolved ! ! ! ! ! ! !
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.
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
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
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: http://veyvota.yaeshora.info/faqs?id=0010
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
38 Voter Registration 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
39 Voter Registration: Hypo 1 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.
40 Voter Registration 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.
41 Establishing Residency 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
42 Establishing Residency Voters Who Have Moved Within the same Precinct To a different Precinct but within the same county Between counties
43 Voter Identification 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
44 Confusion over voter ID laws unfairly suppresses turnout among: Students Minorities Elderly The homeless Persons with Disabilities Low-income individuals
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.
46 Felony Disenfranchisement 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
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
48 Provisional Voting 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
49 Provisional Voting 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.
50 Provisional Voting 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
Election Equipment and51 Ballots 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
Assistance at Polling Place52 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
53 Polling Place Not Open It is after the time the poll should be open and the polling place is not open. What should a voter or volunteer do? Immediately contact the Captain and encourage the voter to stay in line.
54 Other Polling Place Issues 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