WASHINGTON - November 7 - Hundreds of volunteers in the AFL-CIO Voter Protection Program will be out today in 23 communities in 6 key states to educate citizens about their voting rights, help prevent the kinds of voting rights violations that marred the 2000 presidential election and urge voters to take advantage of new protections they enjoy under the Hel p America Vote Act (HAVA) passed by Congress in 2002.
"Voting is a fundamental right that cuts to the core of our democracy, said AFL-CIO President John J. Sweeney. We need to ensure that every vote cast in this country counts and that every voice in our democracy is heard."
As part of the AFL-CIO Voter Protection Program, the AFL-CIO has trained union and voting rights activists on their states election laws and will deploy them as poll monitors on Election Day. Poll monitors will be available today to answer voters questions about their rights and through rapid action networks, help resolve any issues voters may encounter. In addition, AFL-CIO poll monitors will have a network of lawyers available to handle problems that require legal action. Union activists have also distributed fliers at work sites across the country to help workers make sure they are able to cast their ballots a nd have their votes counted.
The AFL-CIO's Voter Protection Program is focused on communities in Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington. The AFL-CIO has coordinators in targeted areas who are partnering with local lawyers, community allies and AFL-CIO unions and constituency groups..
Voters are urged to call the toll-free Nationwide Election Protection Hotline, 1-866-OUR-VOTE, if problems arise.