WASHINGTON D.C. (November 7, 2016) CASA, the immigrant-based organization that has been fighting for the Latino and minority community since of since 1986, will work to safeguard voters at the polls who may be victims of intimidation or harassment in Pennsylvania and Virginia on Election Day.
“We feel this is work of the upmost importance during these elections when our election process has been called into question,” said Executive Director Gustavo Torres. “We will make sure that voters who are are registered and have a right to vote are able to exercise their right if that right is called into question.”
In past weeks, some have questioned the integrity of the elections by calling the system “rigged” and encouraging supporters to question the integrity of the vote.
Now CASA, as a member of the Election Protection coalition in
Pennsylvania and the Virginia Civil Engagement Table, will provide on-site voter assistance to prevent voter intimidation.
More than 20 CASA staff and volunteers will participate with on-site voter assistance in Lancaster, York and Harrisburg. They will stand outside of polling stations to provide help, answer question or help people report intimidation, if it occurs.
This is part of a state-wide effort with hundreds of organizations in different areas from Western and Central Pennsylvania to Philadelphia.
The conversation about rigging and fraud is a distraction that is weakening our democracy. The biggest concern that voters have about Pennsylvania’s election process is a lack of participation.
WHAT IS THE PLAN TO PROTECT PENNSYLVANIA’S ELECTIONS AND VOTERS? Through a hotline and via on-site voter assistance, the Election Protection coalition works to ensure every eligible voter can cast a ballot that counts.
- The Election Protection coalition met with many county and state elected officials to ensure a smooth election process. If there are problems on Election Day, legal field teams will be ready to work with these officials to address problems or incidents.
- On Election Day, teams of legal and grassroots field volunteers monitor the precincts where problems may be more likely to occur, checking in on each one.
- On-call attorneys will be available in all of Pennsylvania’s counties to take immediate legal action when warranted.
- Intimidation can be reported the Election Protection coalition (866-OUR-VOTE) which coordinate with District Attorneys’ offices and election officials. Election Protection volunteers can also form a barrier between intimidators and the poll entrance to prevent harassment.
In Virginia, CASA members and volunteers will be part of a state-wide effort by the Virginia Civil Engagement Table.
The coalition will station about 300 volunteers statewide wearing “866-OUR-VOTE” T-shirts at polls statewide to answer questions. The group also staff offices in Norfolk, Richmond and Northern Virginia with lawyers and experts who can consult with volunteers. CASA will have volunteers in Prince William County.
The group has offered its services since 2000, but this year could pose a special challenge.
“Politicians in both parties never want to hear it when Americans reject their political agenda,” Torres said. “So instead of listening to the will of the American people, they cry fraud or allege the systems is rugged instead.”
These will be CASA’s locations for poll watching on Election Day:
Woodbridge Middle School
2201 York Drive, Woodbridge, VA 22191
R Dean Kilby Elementary School
1800 Horner Rd, Woodbridge, VA 22191
Stonewall Middle School
10100 Lomond Dr, Manassas, VA 20109
Yorkshire Elementary School
7610 Old Centreville Road, Manassas, VA 20111
If you have questions, you can call the group at 866-OUR-VOTE. For response in Spanish it’s 888-VE-Y-VOTA