The AFL-CIO Voter Protection rapid response team has dispatched a team of lawyers to Summit County, Ohio, where there have been reports from across the country about problems with voting machines, lack of paper ballots, moved polling places and other issues.
In one precinct, some voters were in line from 6:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. before finally voting with provisional ballots.
True the Vote, the Texas tea party-founded group whose main goal is to suppress and intimidate voters (especially voters of color), was barred from sending its poll monitors to polling places in Franklin County, Ohio, the AFL-CIO voter protection team and The Columbus Dispatch report.
True the Vote was denied status as official observers by the Franklin County Board of Elections yesterday after questions were raised about the veracity of the documents the group submitted. In Ohio, if a group of at least five candidates (local, state or federal) request it, the group is allowed to have poll monitors on Election Day. The Dispatch reports:
In an emergency alert sent to voters this morning over social media, radio PSAs, email and phone calls, the Election Protection Coalition told Pennsylvania voters:
Today is Election Day. Vote. You do not need a photo ID in order to vote in Pennsylvania if you have voted before. First-time voters will need to show some form of ID, photo or non-photo. Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683) if you have any questions or concerns.
We know that Nov. 6 in polling places around the country, there will be thousands of tea party-trained “poll watchers” and cadres of Republican lawyers on hand with one goal: to slow, suppress and intimidate voters.
But you can be prepared to protect your vote and your right. First, before you go to the polls, make sure you visit the AFL-CIO’s My Vote, My Right voter protection site where you can learn about voter ID laws and steps to take to protect your right to vote tomorrow.
As unpatriotic as it sounds, some people would deny American citizens the right to vote, even those who are fully entitled to cast their ballot. The only way to make sure to avoid being the victim of such tactics is to know what your rights are and know who to talk to if you have a problem.
Bowing to a huge public outcry, communications conglomerate Clear Channel has agreed to take down more than 100 billboards in predominately African American and Latino neighborhoods in Ohio and Wisconsin designed, say voting rights and civil rights groups, to intimidate voters and suppress the vote.
Also, the company has agreed to post new messages on billboards in those Cleveland, Columbus and Milwaukee neighborhoods encouraging people to exercise their right to vote.
Poll monitors work outside polling locations on Election Day to greet voters, answer questions and report problems. This year, more poll monitors than ever are needed. Restrictive photo ID laws have challenged the right to vote, the cornerstone of democracy. Despite victories in Pennsylvania, where the photo ID law will not be in effect, and the restoration of early voting in Ohio, the battle is not over.