There is no doubt a heightened sensitivity this election year at the polls, so answering the call is a non-partisan crew called Election Protection.
They began at 5 a.m. Tuesday morning to make sure voters are informed, confident and not disenfranchised. It was almost non-stop at the Election Protection headquarters in Tallahassee, as lawyers and around 120 community volunteers were on hand to cast assistance to concerned voters via a toll-free hotline.
Stephen Knight, a local attorney, says, “If there's a call, a problem at the polling station, especially a legal issue, then I'll go out and see if I can solve it.”
Hotline coordinators say most calls were questions over the location of polling sights or confusion regarding absentee ballots.
Stenice Rolle of Election Protection says, "Another major issue was machines malfunctioning. We have had several not working since the polls opened this morning.”
Otherwise, voters and volunteers say problems were few and far between.
Richard Shore adds, “A couple of questions have been asked. Things are going smoothly, which is a good sign.”
And with volunteers on sight at various precincts, voters took notice.
Raymond Barnes, a voter, says, “Everybody's doing a good job. We need extra eyes on everybody, so that's a real good thing they did.”
Election Protection coordinators want to stress that the polls close at 7 p.m. Tuesday, but if you are in line at 7 p.m. you must be allowed to vote. Also, unless you are a first time voter, you do not need ID to cast your ballot.
For any other questions, call 1-866-OUR-VOTE.
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