With Election Day just one week away, the National Bar Association plans to have members of its organization serving as poll monitors in the swing states of North Carolina, Ohio, Florida and Virginia to protect voters from intimidation at the polls during the first election without the Voting Rights Act.
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights recently won a victory in Arizona, forcing election officials in the state to reduce wait times and long voter lines at the state’s polling places.
In this close election, every vote will count and voters across the nation will need to be protected from Donald Trump’s recruitment of an army of poll watchers.
Kevin Judd, National Bar Association President, and Kristen Clarke, President & Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, spoke with Roland Martin during Tuesday’s edition of NewsOne Now about their organizations’ efforts to protect the vote on and before Election Day.
Clarke explained at this present date, her organization has fielded 50,000 calls from voters across the country through the call center (which can be reached at 866-OUR-VOTE). Individuals taking calls on the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights have been answering questions and documenting complaints regardless of location or party affiliation.
Clarke said, “Through the 866-OUR-VOTE hotline, we’re working very hard to make sure that everyone can vote.”
Some of the calls are from voters who have questions about their voter registration status, assigned polling locations, and what can be done about long lines at early voting locations.
Clarke told Martin their command center, manned by volunteer lawyers, law students and legal professionals, are “intensely busy.” Currently, the call center is taking calls up until midnight and will expand hours as Election Day nears.
Kevin Judd said the National Bar Association will have a few thousand lawyers deployed across the country helping out the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights. These individuals will serve as poll watchers and where there is serious abuse, they will act as voter protection attorneys.
Martin shared with viewers that “every minute counts” on Election Day and touted the work of those at the polls who volunteer their time.
Clarke, pleased with the acknowledgment of those working the polls across the nation, expressed frustration with the claims Republicans are making about a “rigged election.” She told Martin the poll workers “are not people out there rigging elections.
“If we want to talk about what is really broken about our democracy, we have to talk about the lawmakers that are throwing up obstacles to make it harder for people to vote, that are putting in place voter ID requirements, cutting early voting hours, and taking actions that are about disenfranchising Black folks,” said Clarke.
Watch Roland Martin, Kristen Clarke, and Kevin Judd discuss the efforts being made to protect voters on and before Election Day in the video clip above.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty