November 1, 2010

CONTACT: Hedy Weinberg, ACLU-TN Executive Director, 615-320-7142

NASHVILLE – In preparation for Election Day, the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee (ACLU-TN) has established a toll-free Election Day hotline to help voters who encounter problems at the polls. A Voter Empowerment Card outlining voter’s rights is also available on the ACLU-TN website.

“The right to vote and to have one’s vote accurately and fairly counted is as fundamental a right as we have in this country. In that spirit, ACLU-TN’s goal is to ensure that every eligible voter is able to cast a vote and have it counted,” said Hedy Weinberg, ACLU-TN Executive Director.

The toll-free Election Day hotline number is (877) 615-1999. The hotline will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Central and will allow voters to report voting problems and obtain assistance if they feel they have been unfairly denied the right to vote.

The Voter Empowerment Cards, available in English and Spanish, cover topics such as Election Day logistics, how to avoid common problems that arise on Election Day, and what to do if you experience issues at the polls. The pocket-sized, tri-fold cards answer basic, practical voting questions that could arise at polling places and will ensure that voters know their rights. The card is available on the ACLU-TN website at .

“We are concerned that some voters might be turned away from the polls because they are not fully aware of their rights under Tennessee law. Voters with the ACLU-TN Empowerment Card in their hands will know their rights and be able to assert them on Election Day,” Weinberg said. “If additional assistance is needed, a phone call to the ACLU will help them determine if their rights are indeed being violated and what recourse they have.”

ACLU is particularly concerned about the following problems voters may face at the polls:

  • Voters who need special assistance being prevented from bringing someone to help them into the voting booth;
  • Ballot security initiatives designed to suppress minority voting;
  • Voters turned away without being offered a provisional ballot;
  • Too few machines in polling places which will lengthen lines and discourage eligible voters;
  • Poll-watching activities that go beyond mere observation and become harassment;
  • Moving polling places on short notice or without sufficient warning; and
  • Disinformation campaigns.

The ACLU of Tennessee is a non-partisan, statewide organization dedicated to promoting and protecting constitutional rights.