Each Election Day, Civic Nebraska deploys dozens of volunteer Election Protectors to observe polling places around the state. In 2020, our Election Protection Program will look a bit different as we continue to confront the challenges brought by COVID-19.
Simply put, the virus will make it more difficult to conduct the traditional in-person election observation that has been so effective in recent elections. To address this challenge, we’re gearing up a range of digital and targeted solutions.
Starting this month, we are joining our partners around the state to host online and in-person training for both voters and volunteer Voting Rights Advocates. This training will provide Nebraskans information on their rights should they choose to go to the polls in person Nov. 3, and also delve into any potential concerns with early mail-in ballots.
Mark your calendars: Our first online Election Protector training is from 5 to 6 pm CDT on Tuesday, Aug. 25. It will be jam-packed with relevant information, useful resources, and specific calls to action. Be sure to register early to reserve your seat.
A few highlights of our general-election plan:
- With early vote-by-mail expected to be predominant again this fall, we will be employing volunteer Election Protectors to help with get-out-the-vote efforts and assisting with rejected ballot calls in the weeks and months leading up to Nov. 3.
- Several states used roving and contactless poll-monitoring programs during the primary season; on May 12 Civic Nebraska deployed a small number of volunteers to monitor selected polling places and observe from their vehicles. We plan to expand this targeted operation to polling places in additional cities and counties during the general election.
- Civic Nebraska’s Election Protection Hotline – 402.890.5291 – will return starting Oct. 3. Call anytime from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on days leading up to Nov. 3, and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day, for assistance, advice, and issue resolution regarding your ballot.
Like every facet of our society, COVID is presenting us challenges. But with contactless poll observation, mass online training, a targeted plan for in-person poll observation, and our Election Protection Hotline, Civic Nebraska will continue to effectively advocate for free, fair, and transparent elections in the Cornhusker State. It’s why we’re here, and this year, it’s more important than ever.
We’re looking forward to seeing you on Aug. 25 to help us kick off our general election push. Thanks for all that you do.
John Cartier, Director of Voting Rights