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ACLU Sets Up Election Protection Command Centers

The ACLU of Nevada is activating "Election Protection" command centers in Las Vegas and Reno today. (Gutzemberg/iStockphoto)
The ACLU of Nevada is activating "Election Protection" command centers in Las Vegas and Reno today. (Gutzemberg/iStockphoto)
November 8, 2016

LAS VEGAS – The ACLU of Nevada is activating two so-called "Election Protection" command centers today at its offices in Reno and Las Vegas, to guard against any voting irregularities. Volunteer observers will be posted at various polling places to make sure poll workers follow the rules laid out by the Secretary of State, and don't ask for photo identification unless the voter's signature doesn't match the one on file.

Holly Welborn, policy director with the ACLU of Nevada, said they'll also make a report if protesters harass voters or violate the rules that require them to stay at least 100 feet away from the polling location.

"We also look at intimidation," she said. "We want to make sure that there aren't any excessive taunting of voters as they're going up to vote. To make sure that people feel that they're safe in their environment as they're going to vote. We're also protecting the free-speech rights of people to electioneer outside of a certain point."

The ACLU will have 50 attorneys on standby, mostly in Washoe and Clark counties, ready to respond if needed. They also have a hotline for people to call if they have trouble voting. That number is 1-866-Our-Vote.

Welborn said that so far, early voting has gone smoothly, with no complaints of intimidation.

"Throughout early vote there weren't any significant problems so we are watching it, it is a very contentious election cycle," she added. "We are prepared to defuse a situation if that situation needs to be defused."

This is the third time the ACLU has set up these Election Protection command centers. They also offered their help during the presidential elections in 2008 and 2012.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - NV