BALTIMORE - In a statewide effort to educate voters about their rights and solve problems at the polls, the ACLU of Maryland has launched our 2012 Election Protection Campaign. Through this non-partisan program, the ACLU will distribute 20,000 Maryland Voter Empowerment Cards to advocacy groups, get-out-the-vote organizations, community groups, political parties, and individuals voters across the state, to help ensure that voters know their rights and know they can call the ACLU of Maryland for help with problems on Election Day. The cards are in English and Spanish.
"The ACLU seeks to protect every Maryland voter from the misinformation and intimidation that causes some people to stay home on Election Day and leads to cynicism in our electoral process," said Amy Cruice, ACLU of Maryland's Election Protection Campaign Director. "We educate voters and identify systemic issues that may infringe on Marylanders' right to vote. And on Election Day, voters can call our Election Protection hotline to ask any question they may have about voting and get immediate help."
Among the issues the ACLU is highlighting are Maryland's October 16 voter registration deadline, early voting from October 27-November 1, and the rights of former offenders to cast a ballot.
As the group has done for the last four statewide and presidential elections, the ACLU will hold a hotline for Maryland voters on Election Day (November 6). The hotline (1-888-496-ACLU) will be staffed with volunteers trained to assist voters experiencing problems and to investigate complaints at the polls; the organization will also have attorneys prepared to go to court if necessary to ensure that the franchise is protected. In addition, the ACLU of Maryland will have a field team of volunteers in every county who can investigate any problems as they occur.
Following the election, the ACLU of Maryland will issue a report on Election Day problems reported to the hotline and offer our elected officials legislative and administrative recommendations to help build a stronger election system for the future.