The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia will offer an election hotline to answer questions from voters who encounter problems at the polls on Election Day. The ACLU of Virginia hotline number is (804) 644-8080. Emails sent to [email protected] will also be answered.
“We are prepared to advocate on behalf of voters whose rights have been abridged, to protect and defend their civil rights,” said ACLU of Virginia Executive Director Claire G. Gastañaga. “Voting shouldn’t be difficult, but there are often problems on Election Day.”
Most problems at the polls arise from a combination of voters not knowing their rights and poll workers not being sufficiently informed about election law. Voters and poll workers should be aware that though Virginia voters are required to show valid identification to vote, the Commonwealth’s strict photo ID law is not effective until July 2014. In Virginia, valid forms of ID include: Virginia voter registration card; Virginia driver’s license; employee issued ID card; and current utility bills, bank statements, or paychecks indicating the name and address of the voter. For a complete list of accepted forms of identification, voters should visit the State Board of Elections website.
“The most important advice we can give voters is to have their accepted forms of ID ready and to ensure they have verified their polling place in advance of Election Day,” said Gastañaga.
Advice the ACLU of Virginia can provide voters includes what to do if:
- they have lost or do not have identification with them;
- they are told they are not on the registration rolls after arriving at the polls;
- they make a mistake while completing their ballot;
- their vote is challenged by someone else;
- they cannot physically access the polling place; and
- they are told they cannot vote because they are wearing political attire.
Voter Empowerment Cards
For the last 12 years, the aclu of Virginia and the Virginia naacp have jointly produced and disseminated thousands of pocket-sized cards describing voters’ rights. The Voter Empowerment Cards, available in English and Spanish, may be viewed or downloaded here.