There is a fair amount of concern that there may be significant attempts to disrupt or suppress voting on Election Day, and beyond. The Supreme Court decision to strike down the pre-clearance section of the Voting Rights Act eviscerated the all the protections from the entire Act. This article in The Atlantic provides background about potential concerns about nefarious Election Day Operations.
On Election Day, there are three main roles to consider for election protection: poll worker, poll watcher and election defender.
- Work as an election judge (poll worker). On Oct. 2, Howard County filled the last of its election judge positions and is no longer seeking poll workers. Baltimore City still has openings. Registered Maryland voters may serve (you do not have to be a Baltimore City resident) provided they meet the other minimum qualifications and complete the training. For more information, visit https://boe.baltimorecity.gov/boe-election-judges
- Be a poll watcher/challenger (observer). Citizens registered to vote in Maryland can serve as poll watchers in Maryland if they are affiliated with a group (any group). Here is more detailed information from the Maryland Board Of Elections website: https://www.elections.maryland.gov/pdf/Challenger_and_Watchers_Manual.pdf
- Become an election defender. Support people who are in line to vote (provide PPE or water), or help prevent voter suppression or voter intimidation efforts outside the polls. The UUCC The Vote steering team has decided to focus our efforts on supporting Frontline – the organization promoted by the UUA because it is non-partisan and we can work with other UUs. Frontline has identified multiple roles for at-the-polls election defenders, and they provide training for all of them. Frontline also gives an opportunity to help in swing states while NOT travelling. Roles which can be done from the comfort of our own homes in Maryland include “Help Desk” support on election day. Frontline requires volunteers take the Tuesday evening Zoom training. If you think you would like to learn more about becoming an Election Defender, please go to https://www.mobilize.us/thefrontline/event/321224/ .
After the Election
We continue to research what support may be needed after Election Day – ensuring ballots are counted, etc. If you have ideas or want to help, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org .