Election Protection Hotline Sees Surge In Voter Intimidation Reports

The Election Protection hotline was implemented to support voters around the nation if they faced issues while casting their ballots on Election Day. 

A representative from the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the nonprofit organization that manages the hotline said they had been inundated with calls since October, the start of early voting. 

Since October the hotline has reportedly answered 115,000 calls. Compare that to the 150,000 calls they received in all of 2016, and it is evident that this year was busy for the 34,000 legal volunteers who work the hotline. 

In Hanover, Virginia during the last days of early voting, Election Protection received a report of a conservative militia group rallying outside of a polling site. Counter protesters were also on the scene, worrying voters in line about a clash. The hotline notified local officials who arrived on scene.

On Election Day, several calls came in across Florida to report voter intimidation in several counties. In Orange County, which houses Orlando, a report was made about five pickup trucks blocking the entrance to a polling site. Election Protection volunteers alerted local officials of the situation.

Other calls to the hotline reported a heavy use of paper or provisional ballots, temperature checking at polling sites, broken voting machines, and delayed polling site openings in several key battlegrounds. 

The reports made to Election Protection provide a clearer picture of what voters experienced on Election Day, noting the various ways suppression may have operated in this monumental election. 

Photo: Getty Images 

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