Two months before the primary election, Common Cause Delaware 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.
With the support of ACLU Delaware and other members of the Delaware Voting Rights Coalition, Common Cause Delaware has created a poll monitoring program that will recruit, train, and place volunteers at polling places around the state, as well as enabling roving and online monitors.
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 EP volunteers will be a great resource for voters. We expect that some folks may be confused about changes to voting laws,” said Claire Snyder-Hall, Executive Director of Common Cause Delaware. “For example, we have 10 days of early voting for the first time this year, and we also expect to have vote by mail, which passed the General Assembly just last month. Delaware also has new districts and polling locations after post-Census redistricting.”
“Our volunteers will also be prepared to assist with any unanticipated barriers to voting or, worst case scenario, any conflicts that might erupt at the polls,” Snyder-Hall added. “We want to ensure that Delawareans have a smooth and welcoming voting experience, regardless of what’s going on at the national level.”
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 either by absentee ballot or in-person,” 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.