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News: Paralegals Volunteering on Election Day

For thousands of legal professionals across the country, Election Day means a great opportunity to use their legal expertise to benefit society as a whole by volunteering to ensure orderly voting.

Election Protection is a non partisan initiative backed by a coalition of legal and civil rights groups and led by the Lawyers’ Committee. It enlists lawyers, paralegals and law students who volunteer their time to answer voters' questions about election laws and to help sort out legal challenges that may arise at the polls. The program also collects data that makes the case for meaningful reforms at the local and national level.

Under this program, hundreds of legal professionals will serve as Legal Field Volunteers or Nonpartisan Poll Monitors on Election Day. Their role will include monitoring and reporting through:

  • recording the experience of voters at a specific polling place,
  • conducting exit interviews with voters,
  • communicating issues and problems to leadership

and a more substantive role by:

  • providing information to voters at the polling place they are assigned to,and
  • responding to apparent significant issues at the polls.

Additionally, all over the country, law firms have agreed to host call centers on Election Day to handle legal and other questions regarding voting, polling places, ballots and related issues from voters. These law firms have provided training weeks in advance to prepare volunteers for the questions they are most likely to hear from voters, such as asking what type of identification they may need at their voting place all the way to more serious issues such as voter intimidation.

Voting Day is above all a celebration of democracy and, aside from who wins, it is a time for all citizens to pull together and make sure that the rules are followed and that every fellow citizen can exercise their voting rights.

Get involved, help people vote and help make sure that everything goes as orderly as it is supposed to go!