Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Info for Voters Facing Discrimination!

A lot of folks are worried about voters being disenfranchised this Election Day. There’s a good precedent for being worried – if you’re a historically marginalized person chances are your vote will be extra-difficult to cast. So here are some options come November 4:

If you’re transgender contact the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund between 6AM and 7PM EST. They will have lawyers staffing their hotline to respond to callers who experience discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression at the polls.

The number to call is: (646) 862-9396.

If you were convicted of a felony, and are trying to register the ACLU has a great form to fill out here. There’s also a very informative read about why folks convicted of felonies should have the right to vote re-instated. Otherwise, the ACLU recommends calling Election Protection which is below.

If you’re a voter with a disability, there are several options. Almost every state has a Disability Law Center that is providing some form of Service to voters on Election Day. However, one of the best national groups is the National Disability Rights Network. Their main page has loads of info in Spanish and English. If you experience discrimination due to your disability they urge voters to contact the people below, Election Protection.

Election Protection is a national non-partisan campaign to ensure that people can vote successfully. If you’re discriminated against in any way contact Election Protection at any time between voting hours in your state. People can call the hotline if the polls are closed when they should be open, if they are turned away for "wrong" ID, or for whatever reason they are not allowed to vote.

The number to call is 1-866-Our-Vote (which is also 1-866-687-8683).
Or you can e-mail: help@866ourvote.org

Election Protection is accepting volunteers, too. You can sign up for training and a volunteer shift at their website.

I’m gonna urge you to store these numbers in your cell phone or have them written down in advance of voting. These processes seem to work best if you call from the polling place.

Voting is not the most important thing we’ll ever do, and it’s most def not the only way to participate in politics. But if you choose to vote no one should take away that right because of discrimination and prejudice. I’m already worried about my vote (first election I’m registered as male) and my partner’s vote (she’s inexplicably “inactive”) so I know there must be countless others nervous about being disenfranchised on election day. I hope this is helpful. Please feel free to pass these resources around widely.


Linda Edwards said...

thanks so much for this Mik, I am going to post it at FRIDA.

Mik Danger said...

Thank you, Linda! And thanks also for running the FRIDA blog - I have learned so much from the folks at FRIDA. I hope this is helpful!

Flora said...

A great deal of useful information for me!