Using Legal Skills to Protect Voting Rights

  • Civil Rights
  • Bar Association
  • Continuing Legal Education Program (CLE)
  • Bar Foundation

As election day approaches, lawyers once again will play a vital role in ensuring that voting rights are protected in our community. This program is designed to provide lawyers with all of the information they need to volunteer on election day through the Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights' nonpartisan Election Protection Program. We will provide an overview of the essential election laws, including the Voting Rights Act, the National Voter Registration Act, the Help America Vote Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Participants will understand the legal rights of voters and be prepared to identify the practices that may infringe those rights, including issues around registration, residency requirements, identification requirements, voter challenges, voter intimidation, provisional voting, and special assistance required to be available at polling places. Participants will know what to do when they encounter a problem and understand the systems in place should an issue arise that requires further intervention. Resources include Frequently Asked Questions for Illinois and an Illinois-specific manual of the relevant laws, rules and regulations.
We ask that all attendees register for one election day shift. By participating in this training program and volunteering on election day, you will help ensure that everyone in our community is able to exercise their legal right to vote. This is especially important for historically disenfranchised communities such as low-income voters, minorities, non-English speakers, the elderly, and people with disabilities.

Marissa Liebling, Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
Terrence J. Dee, Kirkland & Ellis