As the general election approaches, Common Cause Delaware (CCDE) continues to build Election Protection 2022, an independent, nonpartisan effort to ensure that every eligible voter can vote safely and smoothly in the First State. The organization piloted the program during the primary election and plans to launch an expanded version on November 8.
“Every voter deserves to have a safe and smooth 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, including same-day registration and vote-by-mail being approved and then ruled unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court. We know some voters might be confused, and our volunteers will be here to help them exercise their freedom to vote.”
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 all three counties.
“Election Protection volunteers have been trained to help voters if they run into any problems,” said Sean Dwyer, the Election Protection Organizer for Common Cause Delaware. “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 general election. 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.