Election 2020

Team of Volunteers to Monitor Mass. Polling Places on Election Day: ‘It Is Critical'

"I fundamentally believe voting should be as easy as breathing, and in Massachusetts it is not," said Sophia Hall who is heading up Tuesday's effort. 

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With Election Day fast approaching, a team of volunteers is gearing up to make sure everything goes smoothly across Massachusetts.

More than 2,000 lawyers and volunteers have been training for months to facilitate fair elections as part of the Election Protection Coalition. On Tuesday, Nov. 3, they will be fanned out across the commonwealth, from Worcester to Waltham, to make sure anyone who wants to vote, has that option. 

"People are willing to put their lives on the line for this one," William Watkins, with the Urban League, said Friday. "We are going to make sure people who want to cast that sacred duty, that right to vote, that they do it with no issues or problems."

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"I think we are really at a critical time in American history," said Sophia Hall, who is heading up Tuesday's effort. "I fundamentally believe voting should be as easy as breathing, and in Massachusetts it is not."

In addition to having volunteers at polling places, they will also be answering calls from a hotline, and monitoring 12 different social media platforms for any sign of trouble. 

"I am anxious for everyone to be where they need to be to make sure we have enough eyes and ears in real time, because our primary goal is to make sure that things get resolved as quickly as possible because we want people's vote to count on Election Day," Hall said.

Nancy Rachel Rousseau, who will be volunteering in Brockton, said, "It is critical to have volunteers out on Tuesday because you can't underestimate what could happen in Massachusetts." 

Just four days before the election, many are worried about the possibility of violent protests after the results are announced.

Volunteers will also be making sure no one is turned away from voting, provided they are in line before the polling location closes at 8 p.m.

"This is a participatory system, our voices matter, our participation matters, and the best way I can think of doing that, is not necessarily focusing on the outcome, but focusing on the act of ensuring people can engage in the process," Hall said.

The phone number of the coalition's hotline is 1-866-OUR-VOTE.

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