*Press Release from Ignite NC
Nov. 4, 2014. Today Ignite NC, Democracy NC, and other partners are deploying 400 trained volunteer election protection poll monitors to 140 precincts across 40 counties.
Volunteers will help voters vote, document incidents, and direct those with issues to call voting rights experts at the Election Protection hotline (1-888-OUR-VOTE). In addition, they are conducting an exit survey in conjunction with a faculty member at UNC-Charlotte to measure voter’s knowledge of the new laws and assess their experience at their precinct.
“Everything is at stake this election. The County Boards and state officials who pushed through these regressive changes need to know that we are watching them, we are organizing, and that we are determined to will hold them accountable,” said Irving Allen, organizer with Ignite NC. “The student vote has been targeted in North Carolina. Last year legislators eliminating pre-registration for 16 and 17-year-olds, cut Same-Day Registration, and cut Early Voting hours. This year they removed Early Voting sites from six campuses. But that is only motivating us to turn out more strongly.”
Early reports on Tuesday already show troubling trends. Most notably address issues, particularly for voters of color, resulting in lines of voters being told they are at the wrong precinct at several sites in Charlotte, in Raleigh at the Chavis Community Center, and in Greensboro at the precinct near Bennett College.
Due of the changes to the law in 2013, Provisional ballots cast out of precinct votes within the county are no longer counted. In addition, an ASU employee was removed from outside the Legends precinct in Boone for harassing students about ID requirements. (Watauga County Elections Director Jane Ann Hodges said this didn’t happen.)
Early Voting numbers for North Carolina went up over 21% from 2010, with Black participation up 45%.
“Despite the barriers, citizens across North Carolina will make their voices heard and we will challenge and resist any individual or institutional attempts to suppress or disenfranchise voters,” said Bryan Perlmutter, director of Ignite NC.
The Vote Defender Project will be live tweeting and posting throughout the day.
Follow @NC_Ignite and visit www.ncignite.org.