Voter Protection Action Committee
AAJ’s VPAC protects the constitutional right to vote. By volunteering, you will ensure that voters have access to cast their ballots.Sign Up
AAJ coordinates with national and state organizations to identify lawyers, paralegals, and law students who can be poll workers, poll monitors, or call center volunteers. Sign up to receive more information about volunteer opportunities.Sign Up
Tiffany Ellis: Volunteering in Detroit
I just got home after a long day of organizing for voter protection, and reluctantly so. Many of my friends are still at the TCF Center waiting for the precincts to finish their final tallies, turn in the final counts, and ensure there are no issues as the count boards close. I applaud and admire their tenacity and dedication. (I should have worn socks - my blisters drove me home.)
Altogether about 167,000 absentee and mail-in ballots were counted in the TCF Center in downtown Detroit since the polls closed on election night.
Everything I saw of the process was transparent and fair. When angry activists could not bend the rules their way—to say as many of any party should be allowed in as they wanted—they said the rules were broken and have even filed lawsuits in an (likely doomed) attempt to prove the fallacy.
I just re-watched my livestream. After I posted that stream I made it back into the count room and saw many of the people shouting outside, inside working as poll challengers. I saw many of them then thrown out of the counting room by security and police, and at least one arrested.
The people who were removed were abrasive, extremely aggressive, bordering on threatening, and seemed to have entered a different plane of reality where what you say and how you act doesn’t matter.
It does. Make no mistake, the people who descended on the convention center today had no desire to protect the vote or support a free and fair election. They were there to disrupt. They caused problems that weren’t there in hopes of blaming those problems for not getting what they wanted.
I learned in kindergarten that none of that is okay.
At the end of the night, when most of the cameras were gone and the real counts were happening, 98% of the hecklers were gone.
I’m proud of what I did today. I wish I could have done more.
I’m not a particularly religious person, but I believe. And I pray common sense and fairness will prevail. We have much work to do to heal our nation (and hopefully not catch coronavirus in the meantime).
Michigan Association for Justice NATLE post by Steve Pontoni
I know eyes are on Michigan right now. I thought I’d share a quick story.
Detroit’s absentee votes are all collected and counted at our convention center. This morning we got a call that Republican observers where bullying and intimidating counters and election workers. We put the message out and over a dozen of our members showed up and apparently the bullying has stopped.
Super proud of our members for answering the call.
Michael Meiler: Working a Florida Election Hotline
Just finishing up my morning shift with the Florida hotline. It was a really interesting experience! The hang-ups were a little disheartening, but I was able to help a few people out who didn't even know they were registered to vote!
Shannon Pennock: Words to Stay Calm By
Stay hopeful. Try to be at peace and act in kindness. What we do today and say today is just as important as what we did yesterday. I'm headed back to my Board of Elections to ensure that 20,000 ballots in my county here are accounted for, and to ensure that people's votes get counted—all of them. I know these votes won't sway the election, but they will be part of the record. We must take all available opportunities to protect our democracy and our country.
Laura Yaeger: A Vision of Hope
An America of equal opportunity, achievement, and success for all.
An America of progress, freedom, and hope.
An America of individualism, with respect and kindness towards all.
This is what I pondered as I watched democracy at work—a powerful and profound process. I also saw and heard of efforts to disrupt it. It was lawyers, like us, who protected it. We respected it.
I participated. I advocated. I encouraged. I watched person by person and ballot by ballot. Each a piece of the puzzle of hope. And, knowing that thousands of my fellow trial lawyers were doing their part, provided a strong sense of security.
People rely on lawyers to protect their rights every day, their right to trial by jury and the right to bring a lawsuit when they are injured. The right to vote is no different. We have a duty and a fundamental obligation to protect the right to vote.
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