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Organization staffs hundreds of volunteers at polling locations to prevent voter intimidation

Posted at 8:09 PM, Nov 07, 2016

There are poll workers and volunteers that you’ll see at polling places on Election Day, but what you won’t see are the hundreds of lawyers and experts working behind the scenes to guarantee that every vote cast is a vote counted.

Officials with the Election Protection Coalition are expecting some surprises on Election Day, but their job is an important one; making sure all of us can vote and that all of our votes are counted.

The coalition will have more than 100 volunteers out in Cuyahoga County alone, with thousands stationed throughout the United States.

Lawyer Candice Hoke is the brains behind the Election Protection Coalition.

“All of us are pledged to help every voter no matter what their party, no matter what their political orientations, to help them cast a valid ballot,” she said.

As voters head to the polls, she will be making sure everything goes off without a hitch.

“We report in to the Board of Elections to make sure they know of problems as well as, we try to help solve problems,” she said.

Voters and poll workers can report to Hoke’s volunteers, many lawyers, any issues they encounter throughout the course of the day. Examples include instances of voter intimidation or suppression, broken voting machines, or even a power outage.

“Paid staff for the Board of Elections are limited, we need to have as much information coming into the public authorities as possible,” said Hoke.

“The integrity of the secret ballot really needs to be ensured by people making sure that the process is fair and free,” said Dr. Mindy Peden, Chair of the John Carroll University Political Science Department.

The coalition’s role is an important one. In fact, says Peden, it’s a critical part of our democracy.

“Poll workers are one aspect of what we all as citizens should be doing I believe, which is ensuring that everyone has their voice,” she said.