For Immediate Release
Ballot Intimidation in Michigan is Dangerous, Unlawful
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Condemns Those Who Are Trying to Disrupt the State’s Vote Count
WASHINGTON - Citizens gathered outside the TCF Center in Detroit, Michigan today chanting and trying to enter the ballot counting area while poll workers continued to count ballots. The Detroit Police Department dispatched officers in response to control the unruly crowd. Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, issued the following statement:
“In no uncertain terms, we condemn the efforts by private individuals seeking to sow chaos in the orderly counting and handling of ballots in Detroit, an area that is home to the state’s largest number of Black voters. The simple act of counting ballots is not a political act, it’s an act of democracy that happens throughout the year.
“We must not stand back as so-called challengers seek to interject themselves in the process and disrupt the counting of ballots. When we take the time to count and verify every ballot, it is a sign that our democracy is working. What’s happening in Detroit is intended to politicize and jeopardize the integrity of an otherwise transparent and orderly process, one that establishes rules and restrictions that must be adhered to.”
In 2001, following Bush v. Gore, the national Lawyers’ Committee launched the Election Protection program to provide a non-partisan space for voters and would-be voters to report complaints about our elections. The nationwide program, anchored by the 866-OUR-VOTE hotline, provides voters at every stage of the process, including ensuring that their ballots are ultimately counted. The program now has over 42,000 legal volunteers and is continuing to provide daily support to voters 7-days a week as the 2020 election continues.
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The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. The principal mission of the Lawyers' Committee is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice under law.