The election has certainly captured the country’s attention in the past few months. Discussion, analysis, and news stories about the election have dominated television news, social media channels, and discussion around the water cooler. Lawyers certainly aren’t immune. And lawyers are in a unique position to get involved to help voters and to ensure that the election runs smoothly. So how can lawyers and other legal industry professionals get involved in the upcoming election in a nonpartisan way? There are a number of great options. Here are a few:
Lawyers as Citizens
The American Bar Association has created a new program called the ‘Lawyer as Citizen’ initiative. The campaign encourages attorneys to volunteer to volunteer at the polls on election day to act as nonpartisan poll workers. Elizabeth Yang, director of the ABA Standing Committee on Election Law, says that “Encouraging lawyers to serve as official nonpartisan poll workers can only enhance the public’s understanding of and confidence in the rule of law as it pertains to elections.” Yang further notes that “lawyers possess the experience, knowledge and skill sets to enhance confidence in our nation’s voting process, the bedrock of our democracy.”
During the ABA Annual Meeting earlier this year, the ABA rolled out www.ambar.org/vote to serve as a resource for lawyers seeking to become involved in the electoral process. The page provides useful links including poll worker resources by state.
Legal Call Centers
Other non-partisan groups and state bar associations have organized call centers staffed by lawyers, paralegals, and other legal industry professionals. These call centers are typically aimed at providing answers and assistance to legal questions and issues related to voting, polling places, ballots and other legal issues. Check with your state and local bar for more information.
Another great way attorneys can get involved is by working as poll monitors. You can sign up to observe at a polling facility and record the experience of voters at those polling places. Poll monitors also often conduct exit interviews with voters, provide information, and just otherwise assist voters with the voting process. Check with your state government or local bar association to learn how you can get involved.
Are you getting involved in the election? If so, let us know how in the comments section!