Days ahead of the primary election, Common Cause Delaware (CCDE) is announcing the launch of Election Protection 2022, an independent, nonpartisan effort to ensure that every eligible voter can vote safely and smoothly in the First State.
“Every voter deserves to have a good experience casting a ballot,” said Claire Snyder-Hall, Executive Director of Common Cause Delaware. “There have been a lot of recent changes to voting laws and processes here in the First State – including first-time early voting, vote by mail, and same-day voter registration, as well as a new set of polling locations after decennial redistricting. Consequently, we expect that some voters might be confused by all those changes, and we are here to help.”
With the support of the ACLU and the Delaware Voting Rights Coalition, Common Cause Delaware has created a poll monitoring program to recruit and train volunteers to monitor polling places in Wilmington, Dover, Lewes, and Rehoboth Beach.
“Election Protection volunteers have been trained to help voters, if they run into any problems,” said Sean Dwyer, the Election Protection Organizer for CCDE. “They will be a great resource, if anyone needs assistance.”
The program is part of a national, nonpartisan voter assistance effort, coordinated by a coalition of over 100 sponsoring organizations, that began in 2000 after the Bush v. Gore conflict. Common Cause has run Election Protection field programs around the country for 18 years. In 2020, more than 46,000 Common Cause Election Protection volunteers helped answer questions and solve voters’ problems. This will be the first election cycle that Election Protection has a dedicated field program in Delaware.
Working outside of polling places, the Election Protection poll monitors will be non-partisan (as opposed to party and candidate challengers inside the polling places). Election Protection volunteers will work independently from, but in cooperation with, the Department of Elections to advance the shared goal of safe, smooth elections.
The Election Protection poll monitor program will work in conjunction with Delaware’s 1-866-OUR-VOTE English language hotline, run by the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which will provide First State voters with assistance over dedicated phone lines during the primary and general elections. There will also be non-English hotlines running in
- Spanish (888-VE-Y-VOTA/888-839-8682)
- Arabic (844-YALLA-US/844-925-5287) and
- Asian languages (888-API-VOTE/888-274-8683).
“Voters are encouraged to call the hotline if they have any questions or if they have problems voting,” said Morgan Conley, National Coordinator – Election Protection, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
Delawareans who want to volunteer to help with Election Protection can do so at protectthevote.net.