For the 8th election cycle in a row, Proskauer hosted an Election Protection call center on November 7th and 8th in partnership with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which spearheads a national, nonpartisan effort that provides comprehensive information and assistance to ensure that all voters have an equal opportunity to vote. This year, Proskauer answered calls from Ohio.  Our volunteers answered questions about a wide variety of issues such as polling locations and voter identification requirements, while also compiling reports of long lines, voter intimidation and electioneering activities in and around polling sites and relaying that information to the on-the-ground Lawyers’ Committee team stationed throughout Ohio.

Election Protection is a nationwide nonpartisan coalition, spearheaded by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, working to ensure that every voter is able to exercise their right to vote. In conversation with Damon Hewitt, Executive Vice President, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Proskauer pro bono partner Bill Silverman says, “Supporting impactful and important programs like Election Protection helps people who might otherwise be disenfranchised have their voices heard, and their votes counted.” Watch the video below where we had the chance to connect with Bill and Damon on this unprecedented election and our joined efforts to amplify voices and voters this season:

Proskauer’s participation in Election Protection, through hosting a call center with Firm, client and alumni volunteers across the United States, provides an invaluable service to individual voters ensuring they have an equal opportunity to cast their ballot.  This volunteer experience also provides great insight into the current condition of democracy in America.  It lays bare some fundamental weaknesses in the US electoral systems of voting, but also suggests a potential roadmap for reform.

One thing becomes clear to anyone who takes part in this effort – the US does not have a system of voting but rather has many systems, each controlled on the local level.  From registering to vote to voting itself, including voter ID laws and the ability to vote by mail, elections vary widely from state to state.

Rules change as soon as one crosses state lines and even county lines in some instances, causing widespread voter confusion. The essential and what should be fairly straightforward act of voting in the US has become too complicated.