You watch the news, read the polls and you’ve probably already voted. But your work isn’t done. From now until election day, everyone on the progressive side needs to be dedicating every spare minute they have to protect everyone’s right to vote and to help bring progressive candidates and causes over the finish line.

Today’s appeal is for a few hours of your time on election day — before work, after work, or whenever you are free — to help prevent overzealous right-wing activitsts, convinced that voter fraud exists, from denying the right to vote to fellow Ohioans.

You’ve no doubt heard about True the Vote, a right-leaning “research” effort aimed at challenging voter registrations in a number of states, including Ohio. As we have noted, many of True the Vote’s Ohio efforts have failed to remove voters from the rolls, but could still have a chilling effect, scaring the targets of their legally-worded notices away from polls on election day.

True the Vote has a sister organization called the Ohio Voter Integrity Project whose mission is to recruit and train an army of election day volunteers who will “ensure unbiased and lawful” elections by cracking down on perceived voter fraud. They are reported to be recruiting hundreds of poll workers, observers and poll monitors throughout Ohio, particularly in Hamilton County, and training them to only allow “legitimate” voters to cast ballots in the upcoming election.

What can you do?

The Ohio Fair Elections Network is recruiting election day poll monitors to ensure everyone’s right to vote. Anyone can be a poll monitor. You don’t have to be an attorney, you just need to attend a single one-hour training session and sign up for a shift on election day.

Poll monitors will be the eyes and ears on the ground ensuring that problems are quickly reported and dealt with on November 6. Training will explain what you need to look out for and how to be an effective poll monitor. Having a smart phone is not required, but access to the 866-OUR-VOTE election protection app will allow you to help voters look up their registration status and precinct locations. A local command center and legal hotline are also be available to report incidents.

Volunteers are needed in the following counties:

  • Cuyahoga
  • Franklin
  • Hamilton
  • Lucas
  • Mahoning
  • Montgomery
  • Summit

If you can work a few hours on Election Day and would like to help by becoming a trained poll monitor, sign up online or email Gena Shelton, Ohio Voice Election Program Coordinator at gena@statevoices.org.

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