Protect the Vote in NC-09
Voter protection recruitment is in full swing in North Carolina. Needed: Election Day volunteers who are flexible, unflappable and can multitask while assisting would be voters. We spoke with Jonah Garson, a lawyer working with the NC Democratic Party who coordinating voter protection in two special CD elections, the 3rd and the 9th, both of which will occur on September 10th. There are two facets of the voter protection effort:
Boiler Room. This will be located in either Raleigh or Charlotte. The core team will be NC lawyers and election law specialists, but outside, non-specialist lawyers are needed. The latter will be trained and supervised by the core team to respond to circumstances and requests from the field and the poll observers. Boiler room volunteers should arrive no later than Monday morning the 9th to be trained from an updated summary of NC election laws and a brief training manual now being prepared.
Outside Poll Observers. This is what Laverne Berry and Steve Miller were doing in the documentary “Capturing the Flag.” Volunteers are needed to stand outside polling stations, identify problems and disgruntled voters, refer situations to the boiler room, and work with voters to calm them and persuade them to stay and try again once problems are resolved. The observers can be lawyers, but non-lawyers are perfectly fine. Most important is a patient, alert, empathetic personality and flexibility to drive to the furthest reaches of the district, including Bladen and Robeson Counties.
As Jonah Garson expressed it, the need is “almost unlimited.” In 2016, there were more than 60,000 provisional ballots. Only 22,000 of these provisional ballots were fully counted. The problem is ongoing. In 2018 there were 35,000 provisional ballots cast.
For more information on how you can help protect the vote for the upcoming special election, please text Susan Labandibar at 617-571-3757. The signup deadline is September 6th.