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Voters can file complaints if harassed, intimidated at polls

Ranked Choice Voting being considered by Lansing City Council
Posted at 11:43 AM, Nov 02, 2020

LANSING, Mich. (WSYM) — Monday the Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) is reminding voters of their rights when heading to the polls tomorrow.

Individuals who face discrimination, harassment or intimidation while casting their ballot on Election Day have the right to file a complaint with the MDCR.

Voters who feel they have been intimidated, harassed or discriminated against should immediately alert a poll worker. If the issue is not resolved, they should call the election protection hotline at 1-800-OUR-VOTE (687-8683)

“You have the right to safely and securely exercise your right to vote,” said James E. White, Executive Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. “If someone attempts to intimidate you or interfere with that right, seek help immediately to ensure you’re able to vote. But it is important to know that those actions may also constitute a violation of your civil rights.”

The department reminds everyone that voters with disabilities have the right to:

  • Vote privately and independently.
  • Have an accessible polling place, voting machines and/or ballots.
  • Bring someone with them to the polls to help them vote.
  • Seek assistance from poll workers who have been trained to use accessible voting options.
  • Ask election officials to tell them about any voting aids, voting assistance and absentee ballot procedures that are available.

If a voter with a disability faces a barrier in attempt to vote, they too have the right to file a complaint of discrimination with MDCR.
“It is important to remember that barriers to voting do not always come in the form of intimidation or threat,” said White. “Individuals with disabilities have the same right to vote as everyone else and must be offered accessible options to ensure they’re able to cast their ballot.”