Common Cause NM Seeking a Few Good Citizens to Defend Democracy
- Mario O. Jimenez III
ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Common Cause New Mexico is teaming up with a coalition of organizations to run a non-partisan voter protection program again this year to assist voters who encounter problems casting their ballot. The organizations will operate teams on the ground to field questions and staff a hotline in four different languages for voters to report problems. The hotline number is 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) or, for Spanish speakers, 888-VEY-VOTA.
The non-partisan program, called Protect the Vote, is a nationwide program focused on the voter—not the partisan horserace. In New Mexico, partners include the ACLU of New Mexico, the Native American Voters Alliance, the Black Voters Collaborative, Progress Now New Mexico, the Center for Civic Policy and Ole New Mexico.
Protect the Vote is seeking volunteers to work in their own counties as poll watchers or monitors during the early voting period (Oct. 22- Nov. 6) and during election day (Nov. 8). Volunteers must be trained. To sign up go to protectthevote.net. People with legal backgrounds who want to volunteer for the hotline—an integral part of the program—contact electionprotection.wetheaction.org. Knowledge of the NM Election Code is especially helpful.
Our election protection volunteers are different from poll watchers fielded by both the Democratic and Republican parties, and distinct from the poll workers (presiding judges, clerks) employed by the County Clerks and the Secretary of State. They are often stationed outside the polling places or at other prominent places during the election process and carry cards with the hotline number—866-687-8683 or for Spanish speakers 888-VEY-VOTA .
Common Cause New Mexico has been running an election protection program since 2008 to make sure that every eligible New Mexico voter who wants to vote can and that every vote is counted accurately. The program is not affiliated with any party, candidate or issue campaign.
“With all the changes in registration, COVID, and attempts to cast doubt on the integrity of elections, we feel this effort is now more important than ever,” said Mario Jimenez, executive director of Common Cause New Mexico.