ACLU of South Dakota establishes hotline to report Election Day voting rights violations
Voting is a fundamental right of our democracy. The decisions made in city halls, state legislatures, the United States Congress and every other level of government impact the lives of all South Dakotans.
That’s why the American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota’s staff attorney will respond to voting rights infringements across the state via an Election Day hotline. Voters who experience voting rights violations and irregularities or have other problems at the polls are encouraged to call the ACLU’s hotline at 605-368-0644. The statewide hotline will operate from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. CST on Nov. 6.
“The right to vote is essential to our democracy,” said Heather Smith, executive director of the ACLU of South Dakota. “Elected officials may hold the cards, but as voters, we hold the power. To deny any eligible voter that opportunity is to undermine the fundamental freedoms that define who we are as a nation.”
In particular, the ACLU is concerned about the following problems on Election Day:
- Denying voters access to provisional ballots when they are eligible to receive them
- Problems with voting machines, including human errors and technology-related problems
- Efforts to have voters produce identification or proof of citizenship when not required by law
- Voter harassment or intimidation, including signs of bias among poll workers
- Efforts to tamper with voting machines
In addition to the Election Day Voter Hotline, the ACLU of South Dakota has published Know Your Rights voting information in English, Spanish and Arabic. (Brochures are available to download at www.aclusd.org.) The information also is available in braille by request.
The American Civil Liberties Union has a long history of helping voters understand and exercise their voting rights. The ACLU has been at the forefront of the fight against voter suppression as well as the movement to allow new voter access and will continue to do so after the November election and beyond.
Based in Sioux Falls, the American Civil Liberties of South Dakota is a non-partisan organization dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of civil liberties and civil rights. The ACLU believes freedoms of press, speech, assembly, and religion, as well as the rights to due process, equal protection and privacy, are fundamental to a free people. In addition, the ACLU seeks to advance constitutional protections for groups traditionally denied their rights, including people of color, women, and the LGBT communities. The ACLU of South Dakota carries out its work through selective litigation, lobbying at the state and local level, and through public education and awareness of what the Bill of Rights means for people of South Dakota.