New Election Protection Texting Service Launches in California

LOS ANGELES Monday, Oct. 15, 2018 – With Election Day just three weeks away, Californians who have questions about voting can now get answers via text message. Text “election protection” to 97779, and a trained, nonpartisan Election Protection volunteer will help now through Election Day. 

Election Protection is the nation’s largest nonpartisan voter protection coalition, and it is led in California by California Common Cause and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The text helpline is coordinated with the traditional Election Protection hotline, 866-OUR-VOTE. 

While this is the first year the text function is available, California Common Cause and Lawyers’ Committee have operated a live, Election Day call center in Los Angeles for more than 10 years as part of the national Election Protection coalition. In the 2016 general election, local hotline volunteers resolved more than 5,800 calls. Inquiries ranged from simple questions like where to vote, to more serious cases of voter intimidation. Voters once called to complain they could not vote due to a shooting and lock down in their neighborhood.  

This fall, Californians will head to the polls to cast their ballots in what’s expected to be an historic midterm election with large numbers of first-time voters. California Common Cause expects to field questions about where to vote or drop off a ballot on weekends, how to access conditional (same day) voter registration, and registration issues resulting from processing errors at the Department of Motor Vehicles. California Common Cause will have trained poll monitors at polling places in Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, San Diego County, and Orange County to observe and elevate any issues from the ground. 

“We work year-round to create a voting system that is secure, convenient and accessible to all eligible voters, but come Election Day many people still face barriers or fall victim to suppression tactics,” said Kathay Feng, executive director of California Common Cause. “We want them to know nonpartisan voting rights advocates are here to help them participate, ensure their voices are heard and their votes count.” 

Voters with questions up to and on Election Day are encouraged to text “election protection” to 97779 or call: 

  • 888-OUR-VOTE (English) 
  • 888-VE-Y-VOTA (Spanish/English)  
  • 888-API-VOTE (multiple Asian languages/English) 
  • 844-Yalla-US (Arabic/English)