BALTIMORE - As a part of the 2012 Election Protection Campaign, the ACLU of Maryland has extended the hours for the Election Protection Hotline (1-888-496-ACLU) so that Maryland voters can get assistance during the extended Early Voting period. The Election Protection Hotline will now be open for calls from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. from October 31 to November 2, in addition to being open during Election Day, November 6. The ACLU is reaching out to groups across the state and political spectrum to raise awareness of the Election Protection Hotline and its new extended hours to assist voters.
"Hurricane Sandy has had a big impact on the lives - and voting - of many Marylanders, and the ACLU is committed to addressing any problems voters have casting their ballots," said Amy Cruice, ACLU of Maryland's Election Protection Campaign Director. "During all early voting hours and on Election Day, voters can call the ACLU of Maryland's Election Protection hotline to ask any question they may have about voting and get immediate help."
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.
Among the issues the ACLU is highlighting are early voting from October 31-November 2 and the rights of former offenders to cast a ballot.
Through this non-partisan program, the ACLU also distributed 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.
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.