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ACLU Launches Voter Empowerment Program

ACLU Launches Voter Empowerment Program (10/28/2008)

Effort Includes Cards Advising Voters Of Basic Rights And Emergency Contacts On Election Day

For Immediate Release

ATLANTA – The American Civil Liberties Union proudly launched its voter empowerment program today. As part of this effort, the ACLU will distribute 480,000 cards in 32 states that inform voters of their rights on Election Day and how to avoid problems when casting a ballot.

"From partisan shenanigans to administrative incompetence, we've seen far too many cases of voter suppression this election cycle. And with turnout expected to reach record levels across the country, it is more important than ever for voters to know their rights on Election Day," said Bryan Sells, senior staff counsel with the ACLU Voting Rights Project. "The right to vote is too important to be violated. That's why the ACLU is working hard to ensure that all voters' rights are protected and that every vote is counted on November 4. There is just too much at stake for people to be denied their voices in choosing America's next leader."

The cards, which are being distributed by ACLU state affiliates and are available for download at www.aclu.org/vec, summarize the basic state and federal laws pertaining to every voter and list emergency contact numbers for voters to call if they encounter problems at the polls. The cards also provide answers to common questions such as: Where do I vote? Is identification required? How can I minimize potential problems?

Voter empowerment cards have been created for voters in 32 states – from Alabama to New Mexico to Wyoming. There are 55 editions of the cards in eight languages. Voters can report complaints on a wide range of elections issues – including equipment malfunctions, access to the polls and discriminatory or illegal election practices – by calling the ACLU toll-free help line: 1-877-523-2792.

"With Election Day right around the corner, we are pleased to offer an important tool to help people exercise their fundamental right to vote," said Laughlin McDonald, Director of the ACLU Voting Rights Project. "You never know what might happen at the polls – that's why voters must be as informed as possible."

Through a multi-pronged effort of litigation and legislative advocacy, the ACLU is on the front lines fighting the important constitutional battle to protect voting rights. The ACLU has challenged voter suppression efforts throughout the country, including the practice of "caging," unlawful voter purges and photo identification laws.

To download the voter empowerment cards, go to: www.aclu.org/vec

For more information on the ACLU Voting Rights Project, go to: www.votingrights.org

ENDS

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