26 October 2010

Fight Back - Don't Lose Your Vote

Protection Available for Those Who Experience Problems While Voting

Ten years have passed since the "hanging chad" problem in Florida, and since then a majority of states across the nation have overhauled their voting methods in hopes of simplifying the process and making it more accurate.

One of the most pronounced changes has been the move away from lever and paper voting in favor of optical and electric voting methods. However, limited funds for voting equipment and rapidly aging voting machines in some areas are an indication that the country is not immune from problems re-emerging. In addition, voter suppression occurred recently when a front group called "Latinos for Reform," run by a major donor to former President George W. Bush, was caught running television ads in Nevada telling Hispanic voters NOT to vote on November 2nd as a way of protesting. The ads are now off the air.

The following resources focus on election protection. They are produced by the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, who have set up a national hotline for any voting problems: 1-866-Our-Vote.

For information on fundamental voting rights and commonly asked questions, go to http://www.866ourvote.org/elections-101.

For pages with state-specific laws and pdf's with more detailed information on your state's election laws, click on http://www.866ourvote.org/state.

In addition, for information on the voting rights of the disabled from the National Disability Rights Network, go to http://bit.ly/bokzr8.

"Voters can go the polls with peace of mind, knowing that the system has improved," said Barbara J. Easterling, President of the Alliance for Retired Americans. "However, if you do experience a problem, help is available. Don't go home without casting your ballot."

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