Efforts underway to make sure the election process runs smoothly

By  | 

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) — Groups all across the Commonwealth of Virginia are mobilizing to make sure Tuesday’s voting experience is as smooth as possible when Virginians head to the polls. While candidates are working to drum up last-minute support, they’re not the only ones hard at work. Others are working to make sure every vote counts.

Voting Day / Cropped Photo: Shealah Craighead / SarahPAC / CC BY-ND 2.0 / (MGN)

From paid poll workers inside the polls to volunteers on hand to answer questions outside, there are a slew of people that will be on hand to protect the process.

"It's fun. It's a rush to be able to exercise your right to vote and hold people accountable and put in people who you want to represent you,” said Ryan Snow, a member of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

"Every vote is important. Every vote counts,” poll worker Sheba Williams added.

Williams has been trained by the state to make sure the voting process goes smoothly.

"(We) went over all the things that could possibly go wrong and how to handle them...In the morning we set up the room to make sure everything is secure, make sure that the ballots are going into a locked box so nobody can tamper with them,” she explained.

If there is an issue, there are other groups on hand to take action.

"Election protection is the largest nationwide voter assistance program,” Snow said.

Snow is an attorney who will join other lawyers on Election Day.

"Who will be able to go out to the polls as needed, so if there’s an issue with a voting machine or if there’s an issue with voters not being provided with ballots or other materials they need, we can dispatch somebody,” he said.

And because they know the law.

"If there's an issue that isn't getting resolved, we can certainly seek redress from a court. We can go to court and get an emergency order. That certainly does happen,” Snow said.

They're doing this for one reason alone.

"You have the right to vote and we’re here to protect it,” Snow said.

Polls open at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

"If you’re in line at 7 p.m., I don’t care if it’s 1,000 people or 10 people, they have to count your vote,” Williams said.

Voters can get answers to their questions or report problems through Election Protection at the following hotlines on Election Day from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

• Toll-free English-language hotline: The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law’s 866-OUR-VOTE hotline (866-687-8683)
• Toll-free Spanish/English hotline: NALEO’s 888-VE-Y-VOTA hotline (888-839-8682)
• Toll-free Asian-language/English hotline: Advancing Justice | AAJC and APIAVote’s 888-API-VOTE hotline (888-274-8683)
• Toll-free Arabic/English language hotline: Arab American Institute’s 844-YALLA-US hotline (844- 925-5287)
• Voters who are deaf or hearing impaired can contact 301-818-VOTE (301-818-8683) for assistance in American Sign Language, a service provided by the National Association for the Deaf.
• Texting “Our Vote” to 97779

You can lean more about election protection here.