The peaceful transition of power every four or eight years is one of the hallmarks of American democracy. To make that transition happen, it’s up to the country’s population to partake in its democratic privilege and vote for the next president of the United States. Each presidential election brings many questions to voters, beyond which candidate shares their beliefs and principles. For some, it could be their first time voting. For others, questions could range from where the voting stations are located and if they are registered to vote. To help the American public answer these questions is the nonpartisan, nonprofit Election Protection, a nationwide organization staffed mostly by volunteers at inbound call centers that answer thousands of phone calls during the election cycle at its 866-OUR-VOTE number, as well as Spanish- and Asian-speaking lines. While calls vary in quantity throughout the year, Election Protection has to handle a huge spike leading up to a presidential election. The nonprofit is already seeing an uptick, with daily calls reaching the thousands, and it is expecting up to 100,000 calls nationwide the day before and day of the Nov. 8 vote. To combat the influx, Election Protection relies on call center technology to help answer and route the flood of calls.
“The majority of our operators are volunteers, so it’s extremely important that the technology helps them with the calls,” said Rosemarie Clouston, national coordinator for Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, an organization based in Washington, D.C., that helps run Election Protection. “The volunteers are not voting-rights lawyers or immersed in the election process. As much as we can make the technological aspect of routing calls and making sure calls get to volunteers as easy as possible — that’s really key for us.”
Six months before the election, groups of law firms across the country provide pro bono research into voting laws for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The research is turned into frequently asked questions by state and distributed to the volunteers at the 22 call centers across the country. If a volunteer can’t help a caller, there are call center captains at each location to provide more support.
Full Article: Election Protection helps voters with call center technology.