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Where To Get Voting Help

Home News Tribune / MyCentralJersey.com — Friday, October 30, 2010

By STAFF REPORT

The League of Women Voters of New Jersey and the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey will staff a toll-free voter hotline on Election Day to answer questions from voters and offer assistance with any problems that residents might have at the polls.

ACLU-NJ attorneys will also be on duty at selected courthouses to assist voters if any problems occur when voters go to the polls to cast ballots in Congressional, county and local races across the state.

Voters can reach the hotline at 1-800-792-VOTE.

The state also has plans in place to deal with any voting-related issues on Tuesday.

"Deputy attorneys general will be in each of the state's 21 counties throughout Election Day to ensure the right to vote is protected and to resolve any potential legal issues that may arise," said Attorney General Paula T. Dow in a statement.

The deputy attorneys general from the Division of Law will be on duty from 6 a.m. until polls close at 8 p.m. to handle any court applications and to provide legal advice to New Jersey's County Superintendents of Election and Boards of Election on emergent, voting-related legal matters, Dow said.

She also said that anyone who believes they have been victimized with their right to vote should call a state hotline at 1-877-NJVOTER or 609-599-6877.

Residents can also address election-related queries to their County Superintendent of Election and county Board of Election. A list of county-level election office contacts can be found at www.NJElections.org.

Voters also can learn more about their rights by downloading voting rights information cards from the League of Women Voters of New Jersey's website, www.lwvnj.org and the ACLU-NJ's website, www.aclu-nj.org. The cards are available in English and Spanish.

The cards include information such as a voters' bill of rights, how to vote using a mail-in ballot, when to vote using a provisional ballot, what to do if a voter encounters a problem while trying to cast a ballot, and answers to frequently asked questions including information about showing identification and finding a polling place.

"Arming voters with information about their rights before they enter the voting booth is crucial to protecting democracy and making every vote count on Election Day," said Deborah Jacobs, ACLU-NJ executive director, in a news release. "Voters who know their rights are less likely to be wrongly disenfranchised."

The voter protection cards have been distributed around the state through various organizations and at various events including Democracia USA, NJ Citizen Action Education Fund, PIRG New Voters Project, Hispanic Directors Association of NJ, NAACP, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of NJ, NJ Black Issues Convention, and League of Women Voters of New Jersey debates.

The voter hotline offers voters an easy way to seek information before heading out to vote, and is a resource for voters who face problems once at the polling place.

"The voter hotline is an excellent resource to answer questions voters have on or before Election Day and in the last few weeks we have received hundreds of calls from voters preparing for November 2," said Anne Ruach Nicolas, executive director of the League of Women Voters of New Jersey, in a news release. "But of equal importance, this hotline also allows us to hear directly from voters all across the state on Election Day, often allowing us to know when an issue is occurring in a particular polling place, such as machine malfunction or poor poll worker conduct, and address the situation that day, as well as bring it to the attention of election officials so it can be remedied in the future."

The hotline will also provide information on how voters who have been denied a ballot can go to court on Election Day for a hearing before a judge.

The voter hotline, which is available all year round, will be staffed from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday.

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