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  • Writer's pictureKirk Hartley

Offtopic – Lawyers and Voters’ Rights 2008 – Get Involved

The 2008 elections in the US are hard fought and important. Indeed, the President of the American Bar Association has issued a call to lawyers to get involved in 2008 elections to ensure that voting rights are honored.

For those who would like to get involved with voters rights issues, the following describes both nonpartisan and partisan groups focused on voters’ rights.

The web pages referred to below are embedded in links, and the link addresses also are spelled out for anyone who wishes to copy and paste the information.

1) The American Bar Association has a website page specific to 2008 voting rights issues. The page includes links to sign up for various different types of activities ranging from state-specific efforts to staffing a national hot line for voters with questions.

2) The National Campaign for Fair Elections is an initiative of the Voting Rights Project of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and its website is here.

That group and its efforts have been praised by the New York Times, among others, in editorials addressing some of the significant voting problems that marred the last two presidential elections. The sign up page is located at:

3) Vote Trust USA is a subgroup for the Verified Voting Foundation, which was founded by a Stanford law professor concerned about preserving an audit trail that enables meaningful recounts in the age of electronic voting.

The Vote Trust website is at a different page, and includes substantive information and links to state-specific voting rights news and some groups involved in local voters’ rights projects.

4) The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law is not involved in poll watching per se, but does provides a wide-range of substantive information on voters right issues, and engages in some specific advocacy efforts in particular states.

5) For partisan efforts, the Obama campaign is actively seeking lawyers and law students for election day poll watching and other voters rights efforts. The voters’ rights sign up page is located at:

6) A ten minute search of the McCain campaign website did not reveal a subgroup aimed at enlisting poll watchers. However, the website did include a September 15, 2008 press release yesterday promoting a voters’ rights initiative by the campaign. The press release directs readers to a website that lists various persons involved in the effort and presumably they can be contacted for further information.

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