Liz McCormick Published

American Civil Liberties Union Of W.Va. Launches Hotline To Help Voters

Absentee Ballot, Voting, Mail-In Ballot, Mail-In, Election

The American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia launched a hotline for West Virginia voters with questions or concerns about the upcoming general election. The hotline is also aimed at helping voters who may experience issues on Election Day.

The ACLU of West Virginia announced this week that if voters have any concerns between now and Election Day, they can call the group’s 2020 Election Protection Hotline.

The ACLU said the hotline will help voters overcome roadblocks, such as a poll worker claiming they aren’t registered, or if someone isn’t able to access their polling place because of a physical disability, or confusion over voter-identification requirements.

“Voting is a fundamental right and forms the foundation of our democracy,” ACLU-WV Legal Director Loree Stark said in a press release. “While we hope that voters do not encounter any significant issues with voting, we anticipate there may be some unresolved questions surrounding the still relatively new process of absentee voting.”

The West Virginia Secretary of State’s office reports that 68,500 West Virginians have applied for absentee ballots so far – many citing the coronavirus for choosing not to visit polls in person.

Starting Friday, Sept. 18, the ACLU’s hotline will be staffed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

When early voting begins on Oct. 21, the hotline will also be staffed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.

On Election Day, Nov. 3, ACLU staffers, students from the West Virginia University College of Law, and other volunteers will staff the hotline from 7:30 a.m. until polls close.

Callers will be able to leave a message if they do not immediately reach a hotline staffer. Voicemail is currently active on the hotline and calls will be returned as soon as possible, according to the ACLU.

The group’s 2020 Election Protection Hotline is 304-355-5012.