The largest nonpartisan voter hotline is expecting to receive a record number of calls regarding problems at polling stations across the nation. “In Texas we have seen confusion across the board in regards to the ID requirements that are in place for voters. In Florida we have received an uptick in the number of voter intimidation complaints,” Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said at news conference in Washington, D.C. The Election Protection Hotline, staffed by more than 8,000 volunteers, fielded about 5,500 calls by 9:30 am EST before all the polls were even open. As of 2:30 p.m., Clarke said the center received at least 20,000 calls. The states with the highest call volume were Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New York. (Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania are swing states.) Calls included voters reporting intimidation, late polling-location openings, and confusion by poll workers as to the identification required for different states.
Clarke reported that poll workers were unsure of the voting requirements, citing calls from across Texas, and in Richmond, Va., where a poll worker was unsure of the conditions to issue provisional ballots. “We are getting more calls on authority issues from voters, which means more time on the phone working with local election and state officials, spending more time to overcome and resolve the issues,” she said.
Clarke described the process when voters called regarding intimidation and polling-location issues. “We contact local election officials,” Clarke said. “We look at the complaint carefully and closely to get as much information as is possible.”
Pam Smith from Verified Voting clarified reports of poll machine malfunctions in Durham, N.C. She said that electronic poll books in that city failed to let poll workers check in voters, but that the issue was resolved by workers using back-up paper poll books. As of 2:30 p.m. EST, e-poll books were back online. “At first, people were saying the voting machines were down. It wasn’t that; it was actually the electronic poll books,” Smith said.
Full Article: Voter hotline expects to rack up record number of calls.