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Your Florida Id

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									       YOUR VOTE IS YOUR VOICE.

                               FLORIDA VOTING
                               RIGHTS TOOLKIT
KATHRYN KOLbERT                                                         TANYA CLAY HOUSE
President, People For the American Way                                  Director, Democracy Campaign


    Welcome and thank you for your commitment to protecting voters rights!

    By pledging to educate your community about the fundamental right to vote, you are taking a
    tremendous step towards fighting voter suppression in America. Committed activists from across the
    country, just like you, are taking similar steps to ensure that thousands of Americans participate in
    the most basic part of our democracy. Voting is not just about electing a president or a congressman;
    it is also about protecting a number of rights and freedoms, including civil rights, free speech and
    religious liberty. To help you in work we have created a comprehensive voting rights toolkit with all
    the materials you will need to succeed!

    We saw the tragedy of what happens when the right to vote is not protected. In 2004, Florida
    Governor Jeb Bush blocked a large percentage of black and Hispanic people wrongly listed as felons
    from voting who were otherwise eligible. He was only made to deactivate the list of purported
    felons after this clear suppression tactic was reported by the media. It is imperative that we prevent
    suppression like this from happening again.

    Extreme measures to suppress the right to vote are becoming more prevalent. Recently some states
    passed harsh, restrictive voter ID laws that require government issued photo ID in order to vote.
    These restrictive requirements may create significant burdens for members of your community,
    especially students, minorities and senior citizens. That’s why it’s critically important that we get the
    word out to as many people as possible, what the requirements are.

                                                            LETTER OF INTRODUCTION

Fighting this battle may seem daunting, but with the right partners, educating your community
about these voting requirements is possible. Meaningful lasting change begins by bringing the power
of the vote back into the hands of the people. Working with and in your community will be a
rewarding and empowering experience and will continue on in the tradition of fighting for voting
rights. With the resources provided in the toolkit you will be well on your way to having a huge
impact in your community.

Inside you will find general information about your state’s election laws, flyers to hand out to your
community, a detailed list of important voter registration and election dates to remember, and tips
to remember on election day. You are not in this alone. We are all in this together working to make
sure every vote is cast and counted! We thank you for your commitment and wish you success in
empowering your community for this election cycle!


Michele Lawrence Jawando

Campaign Manager of Election Protection

                                    TAbLE OF

»   19     IMpORTANT DATES
»   57     SAMpLE Op-ED
                                                                 FLYER INTRODUCTIONS

                                Voter Registration Introduction
Included in this toolkit is a flyer that you should distribute to Florida residents explaining how to register
to vote in Florida. You should be familiar with the requirements for registration as detailed in that flyer.
In Florida, it is legal and encouraged for young people to express their civic engagement through “pre-
registration” at age 16 and 17. Voting is a habit, and when the kids of your community are registered
early, they start a productive pattern. It is important to note that while early registration is encourage,
only residents of Florida that are 18 by November 4th, 2008 will be able to vote in the General Election
and Primaries on August 26th.

Remember, registration applications are not limited to first time voters. Ask members of your community
if they have:
     »   Moved to another precinct area or county,
     »   Changed their name
     »   Or wish to change their political party
If the answer to any of the following is “yes,” remind them that they also must complete a new registration
application prior to voting.

In Florida, a completed registration application must include a form of identification that is detailed on
the enclosed flyer. Ensure that all voting age members of your community are aware of the requirements
for which ID to include on the application or to include a copy so that they are properly registered.

Finally, if you have submitted your registration form but after three weeks you have not received a voter
information card in the mail, there may have been a mistake. You should submit a new registration
application or call the Florida Voter Assistance Hotline 1-866-308-6739 immediately.

                                       Voter ID Introduction
This enclosed flyer should be distributed to your community to inform them about proper identification
needed at Florida polling precincts in order to vote in the upcoming primary elections on August 26th
and the general elections on November 4th.

In the state of Florida, all residents must show a picture and signature ID each and every time they
vote. Acceptable forms of identification are detailed in the enclosed flyer so you should make sure that
everyone knows their ID options before Election Day. If the voter’s photo identification does not contain

  a signature, the voter must bring additional identification that has a signature to cast an uncontested

  Most likely the members of your community have heard something about voter ID in the past months.
  It is your job to make sure they are informed about the laws as they apply in Florida and that they will
  be ready to vote in November. Make sure you pass out the following voter ID Flyer to as many people as
  possible and whenever you can, spread the word about the picture and signature ID voters will need!

  It is also important to know the laws of provisional ballots in case a member of your community is
  challenged at the polls, doesn’t have the proper identification or is not on the registration rolls. If the
  only issue is that the voter lacks proper identification, the voter can sign the provisional ballot and their
  signature will be compared to that of their registration application and automatically counted. If a voter’s
  eligibility is challenged for any other reason, the voter can cast a provisional ballot and submit evidence
  of eligibility by 5 p.m. on November 6th, 2008.

                                   Faith-based Flyer Introduction
  Included later in this toolkit is a flyer to be mass produced and passed out to members of places of worship
  across the state of Florida. The flyer describes the types of ID that are required for all voters in Florida to
  show at the polls on Election Day. You should use the flyer to organize members of your place of worship
  and community around Election Day and to inform them about when Election Day is and what they
  need to vote. Make sure every member, faith leader and officer of your place of worship is well-informed
  of the laws and receives a flyer so they can become liaisons to their community for information on Voter

  With the faith-based flyer and a later included section on Getting Out The Vote within church communities
  you should ensure to organize your community around massive voter registration events and then mass
  information drives to ensure that every Florida voter knows the options they have for photo and signature
  ID on Election Day, November 4th, 2008.

                                   Voting Machines Introduction
  With recent changes in machines used at the polls, it is so important to ensure that every voter is not
  surprised or confused when casting their ballot. You should try and make the voting process as simple
  as possible by stressing a few main things to members of your community. For those voters who want
  to know about the specific voting machine used in Florida or in their county before Election Day you

                                                                  FLYER INTRODUCTIONS
should point them to two places. The first is The League of Women Voters website
has a break down of information for every state and included in the FL section is information on which
voting machines are used as well as how to use them.

A second reference to use if the Florida Secretary of State’s website at which
will be able to direct you to people and web-pages with more information on which voting machines are
used in any specific county. A voter should never hesitate to contact their County Election Officials with
any questions they might have.

                         Young Voters’ Voter ID Flyer Introduction
Enclosed in this section of your Election Protection Toolkit is a flyer to be mass produced and passed out
to young voters across your campus and city! The flyer describes one of the most important requirements
for voting in the state of Florida—having a current and valid photo ID. With recent Supreme Court
rulings and laws passed in your state, new requirements exist for voters at the polls. In Florida, all voters
must show some form of picture identification with a signature each and every time they vote. If someone
does not have a form of photo ID with a signature, they will need to show additional identification that
proves their signature.

With this information you should begin organizing your campus or city to ensure that everyone comes
to the polls on November 4th with the proper identification. Behind this letter is a flyer that should be
widely distributed. Go to places where students are and make sure they know what they need to vote!
Coffee shops, cafeterias, campus buildings and student quads are all great places to set up and spread the
word. Make sure every student you and your team sees gets a flyer so they are as informed as possible.
Setting up booths and distinguishing yourself and the rest of your team as people in the know about Voter
ID laws in Florida will make your message heard all over your area.

                                    Early and Absentee Voting
Enclosed is a flyer to be passed out to all groups you are working with. The flyer details the requirements
and regulations for early and absentee voting in Florida. Florida has lenient rules on early and absentee
voting that should be made public to the many groups you and other community organizers are working
with. One way to ensure that any complications with the registration rolls or Voter ID requirements are
avoided is to have your community members vote early or vote absentee whenever possible.

The registration deadline for voting is October 6, 2008!
Register NOW to vote on November 4, 2008!

Print it Out or Pick it Up!
•   PRINT OUT the voter registration application from
•   Or, PICK UP a form from any County Supervisor of Elections, drivers
    license office, voter registration agency or armed forces recruitment

Fill it In!
•   All you need to fill out the application is the number of your Florida driver’s license or Florida ID Card or the
    last four digits of your Social Security Number
•   If you don’t have a Florida driver’s license, Florida ID card or Social Security Number, you can write “none”
    on your registration form.
•   If you wrote “none,” and you’re a first time voter registering, you MUST provide a copy of one of the following:
               IDs with a future expiration date :                  or a:
                    •   U.S. Passport                                   •   Utility bill
                    •   Driver’s License                                •   Bank statement
                    •   Debit or credit card                            •   Government check
                    •   Military identification                         •   Paycheck
                    •   Student identification                          •   Other government document
                    •   Retirement center identification                    (excluding your voter ID card)
                    •   Neighborhood association identification
                    •   Public assistance identification

Return it!                                                        Exceptions:
•   Return your signed voter registration                         You are not required to provide ID if you:
    application by mail or hand delivery to                       • Are 65 or older
    any of the locations listed above where                       • Have a temporary or permanent physical disability
    you could pick up a registration form                         • Are outside the country because you or your spouse
                                                                     is on active duty in the military or Merchant Marine

                              The voter registration deadline is October 6th, 2008.
                  If you mail-in your registration form it must be postmarked by October 6th.

        REMEMBER you must also bring valid PHOTO and SIGNATURE ID to the poll on Election Day!
                MAKE SURE
                YOUR VOTE
     If you are a registered Florida
     voter, you MUST bring proper
     IDENTIFICATION with you to the
     poll on Tuesday, November 4, 2008!

            You MUST bring ONE of the following signed photo IDs:
            •   Florida driver’s license
            •   United States passport
            •   Florida identification card with photo and signature, issued by the Department
            •   of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
            •   Debit or credit card with photo and signature
            •   Military identification with photo and signature
            •   Student identification with photo and signature
            •   Retirement center identification with photo and signature
            •   Neighborhood association identification with photo and signature
            •   Public assistance identification with photo and signature

Have a photo ID with no signature?
   Bring an additional ID with your signature.

Don’t have the proper ID? Cast a provisional ballot!
  If you believe you are properly registered in Florida, you may cast a provisional ballot.
  After casting your provisional ballot, you will have until 5 p.m. on November 6 to verify, with written evidence, that
  you are eligible to vote in Florida.
             TAKE YOUR SOUL
              TO THE pOLL
                                                             …and your
                                                             photo ID!

             Our faith calls us to love mercy and do justice.
             Voting is our faith mobilized, our faith in action.

AS A FAITH COMMUNITY                                        Each member of your church and
we have a responsibility to simplify the                    community who is registered to vote
voting process so that the potential voter                  must present a signed photo ID at
from our community does not shy away                        the poll in November:
from voting or is left behind at the polls.                 • Florida driver’s license
We must remove any hindrances or                            • Florida identification card issued by the
difficulties so that our brothers and sisters’                Department of Highway Safety and Motor
votes will count.
                                                            • Debit or credit card with photo and signature
This year ALL voters in Florida must show a photo
                                                            • Military identification with photo and signature
ID with a signature. Voters without a photo ID will
have to cast a provisional ballot. Voters who cast a        • Student identification with photo and signature
provisional ballot will have until 5 p.m. on November       • Retirement center identification with photo and
6th to verify their identity with written evidence to the     signature
Supervisor of Elections.                                    • Neighborhood association identification with
                                                              photo and signature
                                                            • Public assistance identification with photo and
                                 Students in Florida:

If you live in the State of Florida,
you are ELIGIBLE TO VOTE here!
Register as a Florida Voter!
•   The deadline to register to vote this November is October 6th, 2008.
    (If you mail in your registration form it must be post marked by October 6th.)
•   When registering, you need the number of your Florida driver’s license or Florida ID card,
    or the last four digits of your Social Security Number. It’s that easy!
•   You can register to vote in this state even if you don’t have a Florida driver’s license,
    Florida ID card or Social Security Number! Simply writing “none” is good enough.
•   Mail or hand deliver your completed and signed registration form to ANY County Supervisor of Elections, the
    Department of State Division of Elections office, a drivers license office or an armed forces recruitment office.
•   For a list of places to mail deliver or print out a registration form go to

STEP 2:                    Election Day this year is Tuesday November 4th, 2008. You need to show photo
                           and signature ID at the polls to vote, make sure you have ONE of the following:

GO VOTE.                      1. Your photo student ID card
                                 Yes! Your FSUCard, Gator 1 Card or
                                 Rattler Card, is acceptable!
                                                                                 Your PICTURE debit or credit card
                                                                                 Your United States Passport
                                                                            6.   Your Military ID
                              2. Your Florida picture drivers license
                                                                            7.   Neighborhood Association ID
                              3. Your Florida ID card issued by the Dept
                                 of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.      8.   Public Assistance ID

Remember to find your correct voting place! Look up your polling location at and click on your county.
Polling sites across Florida are open from 7 AM to 7 PM. Don’t be late!

Your vote is your voice. Make it count.
ATTENTION                                                                                   How do you cast an
                                                                                            absentee ballot?**

FLORIDA                                                                                     1. Request (or instruct another person to request)
                                                                                               an absentee ballot from your county supervisor
                                                                                               of elections in person, by written request, or

                                                                                            2. Members and family members of the military and
                                                                                               citizens who are abroad may request an absentee
                                                                                               ballot from their county supervisor of elections
                                                                                               by written request, email, fax, telephone or with a
                                                                                               Federal Post Card Application:
                                                                                            3. If you would like to have an absentee ballot sent to
                                                                                               you, contact your county supervisor of elections no
                                                                                               later than 5 p.m. August 20, 2008 for the primary
 You have the right to                                                                         election and October 29, 2008 for the general
 vote early or cast an                                                                      4. If you designate a family member or legal guardian

   absentee ballot
                                                                                               to pick up the absentee ballot, they MUST have
                                                                                               written authorization from you (the voter), their

   this November!
                                                                                               own picture ID and sign an affidavit.
                                                                                            5. Return your marked ballot before 7 p.m. on
                                                                                               Election Day to your county supervisor of elections’
                                                                                               office. Do NOT deliver the absentee ballot to a
                                                                                               polling precinct!
                                                                                            6. If you are overseas and requested the absentee
                                                                                               ballot via email or fax, you may return the ballot via
                                                                                               fax or regular mail but NOT email.
                                                                                            7. REMEMBER to SIGN and DATE your absentee ballot

                                                                                            What if Election Day is
                                                                                            just inconvenient?
                                                                                            VOTE EARLY!
Who may vote absentee?                                                                      1. This year early voting will start October 20, 2008
ANYONE! That’s right, Florida has a no                                                         and end November 1, 2008.
                                                                                            2. The voter votes in the main or branch office of the
excuse needed absentee voting system,                                                          supervisor of elections, not in your usual voting
so if you want to vote absentee, go right                                                      location.
                                                                                            3. Early voters MUST provide photo and signature ID
ahead!                                                                                         and sign an affidavit in order to vote early.

** Rules for requesting an absentee ballot and for voting early may vary by county! Make sure to contact your specific county supervisor of elections for more information!
                                                                             IMpORTANT DATES

                                  IMpORTANT DATES
In running a voter registration, Get Out The Vote and Election Protection Campaign there are a few dates to keep
in mind and make sure you stress to all your community members and constituents. The following are the dates
you should be very familiar with.

July 8th, 008—Voter registration deadline for the Florida Primary. This is the last day you can register to vote
in person or have a mail in registration post-marked. If you submit your voter registration form after July 28th,
you will not be eligible to vote in the August 26th Primary Election.

August 6th, 008—Primary Election in Florida. This primary date is for all local election primaries (except for
office of the US President). In 2008, the following seats are up for an election on this Primary date:
  »   Representative in Congress (all districts)     »   Justice of the Supreme Court (whose terms expire 01/09)
  »   State Attorney (Circuits 1-19)                 »   Judge, District Court of Appeal (whose terms expire 01/09)
  »   Public Defender (Circuits 1-20)                »   Circuit Judges (whose terms expire 01/09)
  »   State Senator (odd-numbered districts)         »   County Court Judges (whose terms expire 01/09)
  »   State Representative (all districts)
County elections vary by county, check with your Supervisor of Elections to find out which are up for Election
this cycle.

October 6th, 008—Voter registration deadline for the General Election. In order to vote in the November
General Election, you and members of your community must be registered to vote by this date. Ask people
questions to check if they need to reregister or re-activate their voter registration.

October 0th, 008—November 1st, 008—Early Voting period in Florida. In Florida, every county Supervisor
of Elections is required to make their main and branch offices open to early, in person, voting. The offices will be
open for 8 hours every day and 8 total hours on the weekend. Contact their Supervisor of Elections to find the
location and hours of their early voting polling place.

October 9th, 008—Deadline for requesting an Absentee Ballot. Florida has a “no excuse” absentee ballot
system, which means that any individual can request and submit an absentee ballot if they choose to do so. If
someone in your community wants an absentee ballot mailed to them, they must request the absentee ballot by
5 PM on October 29th, to ensure that the ballot is mailed to them in time for the election.

November th, 008—Election Day 008. This is by far the most important date to remember for this election
season! The polls are open for voting in every county in Florida from 7 AM to 7PM on November 4th. To cast
an eligible ballot on Election Day you must be in line to vote by 7 PM. Furthermore, if someone wants to cast an
absentee ballot, the ballot must be into the county Supervisor of Elections by 7 PM on Election Day as well.


Spread the word about the type of Voting System used most often in Florida! If people know what to expect, they
will be prepared for Election Day. The following two types of systems are used most frequently in Florida.

     Optical Scan: With this system, you will receive a card or sheet of paper, which you take over to a
     private table or booth. The card has the names of the various candidates and ballot measures printed on
     it. With a pen or pencil you fill in a little box or circle or the space between two arrows. When you are
     finished filling out all the cards, you bring the cards over to a ballot box, where poll workers will show
     you how to put the cards in the box. Or in some places, you may feed the completed cards or papers
     into a computer device that checks your card or paper right there at the polling place to make sure you
     have voted the way you want to and counts the votes.

     Direct Recording Electronic (DRE): This is the newest kind of system in use in the U.S. All the
     information about who and what you are voting for is on an electronic screen like a TV or computer

     There are many variations of DREs because lots of companies are designing new ones, and many cities,
     counties and states are trying them out. Usually, after you have signed in, the poll workers will give you
     a card that you slide into a device to start your voting session.

     Some of these devices will show all of the candidates and ballot choices on one big screen. Often, with
     these big screen devices you push a button next to the name of the candidate you want to vote for (or
     yes or no on a ballot measure). On other DREs, the screen is set up to show “pages.” On each screen
     or page, there will probably be one office to vote for. For example, on one screen or page, you might
     vote for your representative in Congress. Then you might move to the next page to vote for your Public
     Defender. Often these small-screen devices have a “touch screen,” where you touch the screen next to
     the name of the person you want to vote for. Other devices have a key pad. And some have a keyboard,
     so you can write in the name of someone you want to vote for. You let the system know you are finished
     voting by pushing a button, touching the screen or entering something on a keypad.

Make sure that people are comfortable in their precinct and with their voting system so contact county officials
to get sample ballots from the Supervisor of Elections. If you pass them out to the people you meet, they will be
much more prepared come Election Day!

                                            FREqUENTLY ASKED qUESTIONS

when do I need to use the voter registration application?

You must use the Florida Voter Registration Application to begin the process to:
    »   Register to vote in the State of Florida.
    »   Change your name or address to reflect any changes since the last time you registered.
    »   Replace your defaced, lost, or stolen voter information card.
    »   Register with a political party or change your party affiliation.
I did not vote in the last election. Do I need to re-register to vote?

If you have registered to vote in the past, you remain registered for as long as you remain at the same
address, and you should continue to receive election materials in the mail. However, if you have not
voted in the last several elections, you should contact the office of your county supervisor of elections
to verify that you are not on an “inactive” list. An inactive list removes voters from the polls after they
have failed to vote in several consecutive elections. The Secretary of State cannot remove you from the
polls without providing written notification; however, if you haven’t voted recently, it may be beneficial
to check your registration status.

I have not received my voter information card. what do I need to do?

Contact the office of the county supervisor of elections where you applied to register to vote to inquire
about your voter information card. It may take up to two months for you to receive your voter information
card so you should be sure to register before the deadline of October 6th, 2008.

I would like to request an absentee ballot. How do I do that?

Contact the office of the county supervisor of elections where you are registered to vote to request an
absentee ballot by 5 pm on October 29th, 2008.

How can an ex-felon know if their voting rights have been restored?

People For the American Way Foundation’s Restore My Vote program helps you figure out if you have
received clemency. Go to and type in your full name to find out if you can vote
in the upcoming election. You can also contact the Office of Executive Clemency to obtain the required

  what do I need to do if I move to another county in Florida?

  If you move to another county in Florida, you must vote in your new county. If you have not provided
  change of address information to the supervisor of elections prior to the election, you will be required to
  provide that information before you can vote. In order to avoid delays at the polling place, you should
  update your address whenever you move. If you have any questions, you should contact your county
  Supervisor of Elections office.

  what times are the polls open on Election Day?

  Polls are open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. on election day. Any voter who is standing in line at 7 p.m. is
  eligible to cast a vote.

  what kind of identification do I need to bring to the polls?

  When you go to the polling place to vote, you will be asked to provide a current and valid picture
  identification with a signature. Approved forms of picture identification are:
     »   Florida driver’s license;
     »   Florida identification card issued by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles;
     »   United States passport;
     »   Debit or credit card;
     »   Military identification;
     »   Student identification;
     »   Retirement center identification;
     »   Neighborhood association identification;
     »   And public assistance identification. (Section 101.043, F.S.)
  If the picture identification does not contain a signature, you will be asked to provide an additional
  identification with your signature.

  Can I still vote if I do not bring identification?

  Yes. You should not be turned away from your polling because you do not bring identification. If you
  do not have the proper identification, you should be allowed to vote a provisional ballot. If the poll
  worker does not offer you a provisional ballot, you should verify you are at the correct polling place and
  then request a provisional ballot.

                                             FREqUENTLY ASKED qUESTIONS
what else do I have to do if I vote a provisional ballot?

If you vote a provisional ballot solely because you did not provide an acceptable photo and signature
identification at the polls, you do not need to provide any further evidence of your eligibility in order
for your ballot to count. You will be provided a written notice of your rights as a provisional ballot voter.
(Section 101.048, F.S.) The local canvassing board will simply compare your signature on the provisional
ballot certificate with the signature on your voter registration record. If the signatures match, your
provisional ballot will be counted.

If you vote a provisional ballot for other reasons (for example, your eligibility is challenged by another
person, you are in the wrong precinct when you vote, you do not appear on the precinct register, etc.),
you will be provided written notice of your right to present evidence of your eligibility. You must provide
the evidence to your respective supervisor of elections no later than 5 PM, of the second day following
the election. (Section 101.048, F.S.) The local canvassing board will examine your provisional ballot
certificate and all other information and evidence available. Then based on a preponderance of the
evidence, the board will determine whether to count your provisional ballot.

How do I find out if my provisional ballot was counted?

Instructions on how to find out if your provisional ballot was counted, and if not, the reason(s) why,
will be contained in your notice of rights handed to you at the time that you vote a provisional ballot.
Information as to whether your provisional ballot was counted or not must be made available no later
than 30 days following the election. (Sections 101.048(5)-(6), F.S.)

How do I vote absentee?

A voter, or member of the voter’s immediate family or the voter’s legal guardian, if directly instructed
by the voter, may request an absentee ballot. Contact the office of the county supervisor of elections
where you are registered to vote to request an absentee ballot. If you would like to have an absentee
ballot mailed to you, contact your supervisor of elections by 5 p.m. on October 29th, 2008. You may
telephone your request or send the request in writing. Provide the following information in your request
to your supervisor of elections: your name; your address; and your date of birth. If you send the request
in writing, you must sign the request.

I requested an absentee ballot, but now I have changed my mind and want to vote at the polls. May I?

Yes, but if you received your absentee ballot, you should return it, whether voted or not, to the poll
workers on election day. Your absentee ballot will be voided and you will be allowed to vote at the



  Does Florida allow early voting?

  Yes. The 2004 Legislature passed legislation which standardized early voting throughout the state. Early
  voting is defined as “casting a ballot prior to election day at a location designated by the supervisor of
  elections and depositing the voted ballot in the tabulation system”.

  All supervisors will begin conducting early voting in their main and branch offices 15 days before the
  election. In addition, supervisors may designate any city hall or public library as an early voting site;
  however, if so designated, these sites must be geographically located so that all voters in the county will
  have an equal opportunity to cast a vote. Early voting ends on November 2nd, 2008.

  Early voting will be conducted 8 hours per day on each weekday during the early voting period and will
  be provided for 8 hours in the aggregate for each weekend during the period. Early voting periods for
  special elections, municipalities and special districts are different. See s. 101.657(1) (d)-(f ), F.S..

  Voters who want to vote early should remember to bring a photo and signature identification with

  Contact your supervisor of elections for locations, dates and times of early voting.

  Information gathered from the Florida Department of State, Division of Elections at

                                                                       RESTORE MY VOTE

                              RESTORE MY VOTE
                           Restore My Vote:
    Restore My Vote hotline at 1-877-60 RESTORE (1-877-607-786)
In April of 2007, Florida took a step toward full-democracy in support of ex-offenders to have
their right to vote restored. Governor Charlie Crist persuaded the state’s Clemency Board to adopt
new regulations, under which ex-felons (who have committed non-violent crimes) have their
rights automatically restored after completing their sentences. To qualify, ex-felons must have
completed their sentences, probation, and paid all victim restitution. Others who do not qualify
must apply for clemency, which is decided by the governor and at least two members of his cabinet
following an investigation of each case and a hearing before the Executive Clemency Board.
People For the American Way Foundation (PFAWF) has obtained through a public records request
a list of the names of more than 250,000 ex-offenders in Florida who’s right to vote was restored by
Governor Crist and the Executive Clemency Board through October. While the clemency board
attempts to notify ex-offenders that their rights have been restored, election officials throughout
the state are not making a concerted effort to add all persons back on to the voter registration
rolls. PFAWF is attempting to reach these eligible voters, let them know they have the right to
vote, give them guidance on how to register, and work with election officials to support their re-
enfranchisement. PFAWF is enlisting the help of the media, election officials, the general public,
the religious community, and anyone else who can help us to find the people on this list and give
them information about registering to vote.
Getting the word out is the critical first step of the public campaign. We already have significant
resources in the state, including Florida members of PFAW Foundation’s African American Minister
Leadership Council (AAMLC), who are central to the campaign. The influence of AAMLC
ministers extends well beyond their congregations to their larger communities. The theme of
redemption that is at the core of their ministries is exemplified by the restoration of civil rights to
those who have paid their debt to society. Further, this is an issue with a disproportionate impact
on the African American communities served by the ministers. As a result, they are extremely
inspired and enthusiastic about being part of Restore My Vote. They are also quite capable: In
2004, AAMLC ministers successfully inspired and recruited an equal commitment from other
ministers and lay leaders in their communities to carry out church-based voter registration on an
unprecedented scale.
Our nation’s founders recognized that voting is a critical check and balance against tyranny. It is
the path to the better America that we envision- an American where the missteps of our past don’t
dictate our future. Voting is our assurance that those in power govern only by the consent of the

   people. Florida’s evolving policies and PFAW Foundation’s Restore My Vote Project will put more
   Florida citizens in the voting booth for the elections of 2008, and that is a very good thing for our
   state and our nation.

                                  Information about Clemency
   In April of 2007, Florida took a significant step toward full democracy for ex-offenders seeking to
   have their right to vote restored. Governor Charlie Crist persuaded the state’s Clemency Board to
   adopt new regulations. The new rules “automatically” restore the rights of ex-offenders who have
   committed non-violent crimes, have completed their sentences and probation, and paid victim
   restitution. Others must apply for clemency, which is decided by the governor and at least two
   members of his cabinet following an investigation of each case and a hearing before the Executive
   Clemency Board.
   Clemency is essentially the state’s restoration of one’s basic civil rights including the right to vote,
   the right to serve on a jury, and the right to hold public office, among other rights that come
   with the restoration of civil rights. In addition, restoration of civil rights may allow you to be
   considered for certain types of employment licenses. These rights are suspended when a person is
   convicted of a felony.
   If you do not find your name on the Restore My Vote database, and you meet all of the qualifications
   it is still a possibility that you have received clemency or that you may be eligible for clemency.
   If you meet all of the qualifications and you believe that you should indeed receive clemency,
   please contact the Florida Board of Executive Clemency (1-800-435-8286). They will have the
   most up-to-date information about your status.
   Once you have checked with the Florida Board of Executive Clemency, if you discover that you
   have NOT received clemency (and you meet the qualifications for clemency), then please contact
   the ACLU Hotline at 1-877-U COUNT 2 (877-826-8682). They can assist you in the clemency
   If you’re experiencing problems, please call the Restore My Vote hotline at 1-877-60 RESTORE
   (1-877-607-3786) for assistance.
   A trained staff person will answer your call and provide information on how you can register to
   vote. If no one is available, leave your name and contact information, and our staff will return
   your call.
   For more information on the clemency process please visit
   for the Florida Board of Executive Clemency.

                                                                     RESTORE MY VOTE
Below is the contact information for the Office of Executive Clemency and the ACLU Hotline.
Anyone needing information on the restoration of civil rights process should contact them.
ACLU Hotline
Former felons can call the hotline – 1-877- U-COUNT-2 or 877-826-8682 – from 9 a.m. to 5
p.m. Monday through Friday.
board of Executive Clemency
Toll Free: 1-800-435-8286
Phone: 850-488-2952 Fax: 850-488-0695
The information used was obtained through public record requests made by People For the
American Way Foundation (PFAWF) and is being used as a public service to interested citizens.
PFAWF makes no guarantee as to the accuracy or completeness of the information used herein.
Any person who believes that information in our database is not accurate may contact PFAWF.
This database contains public record information on felony offenders sentenced to the Department
of Corrections that have been granted clemency by the Florida Board of Clemency. While PFAWF
will work to update this information on a regular basis, this information can change quickly.
Therefore, the information used may not reflect the true current location, status, clemency date,
or other information regarding clemency, and PFAWF makes no representations or warranties
regarding the accuracy of the information used herein.
The information used and the associated web sites are provided as a service to the Internet
community, and does not constitute legal advice.
For questions and comments, you may contact the PFAWF Restore My Vote hotline at 1-877-
60 RESTORE (1-877-607-3786) for assistance. A trained staff person will answer your call and
provide information on how you can register to vote. If no one is available, leave your name and
contact information, and our staff will return your call.

                               questions about Clemency
q. what is clemency?
A. Clemency is essentially the state’s forgiveness of past crimes, and the restoration of your basic
civil rights including the right to vote, the right to serve on a jury, and the right to hold public
office, among other rights that come with the restoration of civil rights. In addition, restoration of

   civil rights may allow you to be considered for certain types of employment licenses. These rights
   are suspended when a person is convicted of a felony.
   q. what rights are restored when I receive clemency?
   A. The basic civil rights that are restored are: the right to vote, the right to serve on a jury, and the
   right to hold public office. In addition, restoration of civil rights may allow you to be considered
   for certain types of employment licenses.
   q. who qualifies for clemency?
   A. The new rules streamline the clemency process for those convicted of non-violent crimes, who
   have completed their sentences and probation, and paid victim restitution. Ex-offenders convicted
   of crimes that are not classified as “non-violent crimes” must apply for clemency, which is decided
   by the governor and at least two members of his cabinet following an investigation of each case
   and a hearing before the Executive Clemency Board.
   q. How does the clemency process work?
   A. At the completion of your sentence, the Florida Department of Corrections will automatically
   submit an electronic application for you to the Parole Commission for eligibility review for
   restoration of civil rights without a hearing. Your case will be processed either as Level I (automatic
   approval of restoration of civil rights) or Level II (restoration of civil rights without a hearing
   by preliminary review list). (Please see Rules 9 and 10 of the Rules of Executive Clemency.)
   If determined eligible as a Level I case (automatic RCR), your name will be submitted to the
   Executive Clemency Board on an Executive Order for approval. Your certificate will be mailed to
   your last known address once the order has been signed.
   If your case is determined to be a Level II (restoration of civil rights without a hearing by preliminary
   review list), following an investigation of your case, your name will be provided to the Executive
   Clemency Board for a 30-day review. If the Governor and two or more Board Members approve
   restoration of civil rights, a certificate will be mailed to your last known address once the order
   has been signed.
   If you are determined ineligible by the Commission, or are not approved for restoration of civil
   rights by the Board, you will be notified that the restoration process may continue if you contact
   the Office of Executive Clemency and request a hearing and agree to participate in the investigative
   process. Please note, if you have been determined ineligible under Rules 9A1, 9A2, or 9A3, you
   will need to contact the Office of Executive Clemency once these are satisfied.
   If you completed a state prison sentence or term of supervision prior to 2001 or if you served
   a felony sentence in a county jail or in another state, or with the federal government, you can
   request restoration of civil rights by contacting the Office of Executive Clemency.

   Do You Want to Find Out
    if Your Right To Vote
     Has Been Restored?

Restore My Vote Can Help.
Are you a Florida ex-offender who was convicted of a non-violent crime?
          Have you paid any victim’s restitution and are you
                   without pending criminal charges?

                 Your right to vote may be restored.
            Visit to learn more.

1-877-6O-RESTORE              OR                        (1-877-607-3786)

                               VOTER ID/FRAUD MYTHS & FACTS
      There are a lot of myths and preconceived notions surrounding voter ID laws. Many people are
      unfamiliar with this growing issue, in this document we address common myths and present the

      MYTH: Voter ID is a good measure to combat the pervasive voter fraud that exists in our
      elections. The public’s confidence in the integrity of our elections are at stake.

      FACT: The problem in this country has never been widespread fraud at the polls. It simply doesn’t
      happen that often. The problem is that too many people don’t vote. When you look voter ID
      requirements through that common-sense frame, it’s clear that requiring every voter to show
      additional ID has few benefits and many downsides.

      While voter ID laws may seem like no burden to those of us lucky enough to have a current
      driver’s license, many people find it a great barrier to the voting booth. What about a senior
      citizen, living on a fixed income, who no longer drives? A student, who is politically active, but
      happens to hold a driver’s license in the state where his folks live, not where he goes to school?
      Low-income urban residents, who rely on public transportation, or people displaced by natural
      disasters, like Hurricane Katrina? People who were orphaned as children, and do not have access
      to their birth records? Or even women who are recently married and have not updated their
      licenses with their new name or new addresses? All of these are people with every legal right to
      vote, who could experience difficulty, inconvenience and great expense in obtaining photo ID.
      That will keep people away from the polls.

      Voter ID also imposes unnecessary burdens. The potential for poll worker confusion, selective
      enforcement of the rules, and voter intimidation are great, especially since most poll workers do
      not receive enough training. New ID requirements put too much discretion in the hands of poll
      workers. Not only do complicated ID requirements force poll workers to learn which kinds of
      identification are acceptable, but poll workers must also accurately assist people who don’t have
      the proper ID. This can slow down voting, create or lengthen long lines, increase voter frustration

                               MYTHS AND FACTS AbOUT VOTER ID

and depress turnout. We have already seen this in the recent primaries throughout the country.

And let’s remember, there’s no evidence that the widespread in-person voter fraud that these
requirements are supposed to address actually exists. So, basically, what it comes down to is that
instead of creating solutions, these requirements just create problems. They make voting harder,
when what we need in this country is more participation, not less.

MYTH: Twenty-five states require some form of ID. what’s the problem with it, especially since
so many states have adopted this measure?

FACT: There are actually two other states with voter ID requirements somewhat similar to
Indiana’s voter ID law, the most stringent voter ID law in the country: Georgia and Florida.
Those states require all voters to present ID at the polls, and voters who do not have the proper
ID are supposed to be offered a provisional ballot. Provisional ballots are only helpful when they
are offered and counted. Unfortunately, experience has shown us that poll workers often fail to
offer provisional ballots, and they often go uncounted.

MYTH: Voter ID proposals are bipartisan and serve the public interest by protecting the integrity
of the ballot. The Commission on Federal Election Reform, co-chaired by former president
Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State Jim baker, supported laws that require voters to
show a photo ID before voting.

FACT: In the days following the release of the commission’s report, President Carter and former
Secretary of State Baker stated in an op-ed in the New York Times that their intent had been
misconstrued. They clarified that until we have universal registration, we cannot make having
such an ID be a condition of voting.

The fact is states have reported little or no evidence of in-person voter fraud. On the other hand,
there is considerable evidence that this is a partisan issue.

MYTH: photo ID requirement is a concrete and reasonable action that will go a long way
toward ensuring both the accuracy of elections and voters’ trust in the outcome.

FACT: Voter ID requirements are unjust because they keep certain classes of people away from the
polls in disproportionate numbers – students, minorities, senior citizens, low-income voters. That
means a more limited electorate and more exclusive elections. Nationwide from 2002 to 2005,
only 24 people were convicted of illegal voting. These are the only cases the vocal proponents
of voter ID laws have been able to find. It is unreasonable to subject millions of people to a


      burdensome ID requirement when even the Department of Justice can only find 24 people guilty
      of illegal voting in a three-year period. Voter ID laws, especially those being pushed recently, have
      a primary purpose of suppressing the vote. That is unjust and unacceptable.

      MYTH: Voter ID bills are not a problem to racial minority groups.

      FACT: These laws are overly burdensome and discriminatory in effect, and many civil rights
      organizations such as our affiliate People For the American Way, NAACP, MALDEF, the Asian
      American Justice Center, the League of Women Voters, ACLU, Brennan Center, Lawyers’
      Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and others have
      opposed them. Our democracy requires that all citizens have the opportunity to take part in their

      MYTH: people use identification to cash a check, rent a movie, and to get on a plane. There
      aren’t massive amounts of people without identification.

      FACT: Driving, renting a movie, and getting on a plane are important activities, but they are not
      fundamental rights. American citizens have the right to vote, as protected by our Constitution
      – renting is not. We are allowed to choose our leaders. As the Voting Rights Act of 1965
      guarantees, that right should not be dependent upon whether we have $10 or more to obtain an
      ID so that we can exercise this fundamental right.

      Following the Supreme Court’s decision in Crawford, editorial page editor Cynthia Tucker of
      the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote “Please don’t argue that everybody has a driver’s license
      because they are required to board a plane or rent a movie. I know little old ladies who have never
      been on a plane and never rented a movie but who faithfully cast a ballot because they respect
      the sacrifices made by those who gave their lives to procure a universal franchise. They don’t cast
      fraudulent ballots. They are well-known in their communities, so poll workers have no doubt
      about who they are.”

      While voter ID laws may seem like no burden to those of us lucky enough to have a current
      driver’s license, it’s not hard to think about people all of us know who might find it a great barrier
      to the voting booth.

      MYTH: There are hordes of illegal immigrants voting, and voter ID laws will prevent this fraud
      from occurring.

      FACT: The notion of an undocumented immigrant trying to cast a ballot is absurd. Why would

                                MYTHS AND FACTS AbOUT VOTER ID

any undocumented immigrant walk into a polling place where there’s a government official
who might ask for documents – risking deportation just to cast a fraudulent vote? That’s not
only illogical, it’s laughable. Common sense should tell us that the last thing an undocumented
immigrant would do is try to vote. And the facts back this up. There is no evidence that this is
a significant problem.

q. what do you mean voter fraud isn’t a problem? In 006, several U.S. attorneys were fired by
the bush Administration for not prosecuting voter fraud.

 A. The U.S. attorneys didn’t prosecute voter fraud cases because there was no evidence that it was
a problem, and they didn’t want to carry out partisan witch hunts when they had important work
to do as federal prosecutors. That’s why this story has been such a scandal.

In 2002, the Bush Justice Department launched the “Voting Access and Integrity Initiative,”
which directed Justice Department attorneys, including those in the U.S. Attorneys’ offices, to
prioritize investigations of alleged voter fraud. Despite being a top priority, the initiative resulted
in only 24 convictions for illegally voting nationwide from 2002 to 2005, compared to the
hundreds of millions of votes cast during that period. Additionally, The New York Times reported
that consultants hired by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission found “that the accusations
regarding widespread fraud are unjustified.”

People For the American Way wrote an analysis of the EAC’s suppression of those consultants’
findings, which goes into more depth about the myth of widespread voter fraud.

There is no question that election misconduct exists – but voter fraud just isn’t the problem. Think
back to the long lines, improper voter purges, voter suppression and intimidation tactics we’ve
seen in recent elections, and the voting machine problems – including the one which reared its
ugly head in Sarasota in 2006. Think about the problems with provisional ballots and registration
problems. That’s election misconduct. Those are the real problems that we should focus on fixing.
Voter fraud is just a red herring – and in some cases, may be a calculated effort to hold down
voter turnout for political gain. Any law or regulation that holds down voter turnout should be
examined for its disproportionate effects on voters – whether intentional or not.

q. The New York Times reported that 86 people have been convicted of voter fraud as of 006?
why is their number different from yours?

      A. Our number includes 19 people who were ineligible to vote, five because they were still under
      state supervision for felony convictions, and 14 who were not U.S. citizens; and five people who
      voted twice in the same election, once in Kansas and again in Missouri.

      The number from the New York Times is more broad and includes individuals working for
      campaigns that were convicted of buying votes and other sorts of election misconduct traced back
      to campaigns.


10. who and what is on the ballot
Be informed about the candidates as well as any ballot initiatives that will appear on the November
4th ballot. Find out what will be on Florida’s ballot at:
9. where local polling places are located
Polls are located in most public buildings, including schools, libraries, and government buildings.
Voters are required to vote where they reside. Find your polling location at: http://www.vote411.
8. when the polls are open
In Florida, all polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Anyone standing in line to vote at 7 p.m. is
eligible to cast a ballot.
7. How to cast your ballot
In Florida, voters mark their choices on a paper, optical-scan ballot, on which markings are made
with a pen or pencil. Note that these may be different types of ballots than those used in previous
elections. Familiarize yourself with these voting systems and always ask for assistance if you are
unsure how to cast your vote.
6. How to cast an absentee ballot
All qualified voters may cast an absentee ballot. You can request an absentee ballot from your local
election supervisor (find your supervisor at
The deadline for requesting that an absentee ballot be mailed to you is the sixth day before the
election. The ballot must be submitted so that it is received no later than 7 p.m. on Election
5. How to vote early
Florida voters may cast their ballot 15 days prior to the November 4th election. Early voting
ends on the second day before the election. For the 2008 general elections, early voting ends on
November 2nd, 2008. Contact your supervisor of elections for locations, dates and times of early
voting at
. How to vote if you are disabled
In Florida, polling locations are accessible to disabled voters. Before Election Day, check to make
sure you can access your assigned polling place. If not, you can request a polling place reassignment

      from your election supervisor. If you require assistance casting your ballot on Election Day, you
      may choose someone to assist you (including an election official).
      . How to vote if English is not your first language
      If you require assistance reading and casting your ballot on Election Day, you may choose someone
      to assist you, including an election official.
      . How to vote if you are an ex-offender
      In Florida, full voting rights are restored for ex-offenders who have committed non-violent crimes,
      have completed their sentences and probation, and paid victim restitution. Others must apply for
      clemency. Find out if your voting rights have been restored at:
      and the number one thing voters should know as they head to the polls on November 4th:
      1. what forms of identification are accepted at the polls
      In Florida, all voters are REQUIRED to present valid ID with a photo and signature in order to
      vote. Accepted forms of identification are:
          » Florida driver’s license
          » Florida identification card issued by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor
          » United States passport
          » debit or credit card
          » military identification
          » student identification
          » retirement center identification
          » neighborhood association identification
          » and public assistance identification.
      If you do not bring proper identification, you are still allowed to vote. In Florida, voters who
      cannot cast a regular ballot – because they do not have the proper ID, because their eligibility is
      challenged by another person, or because they vote in the wrong precinct – can cast a provisional
      ballot on Election Day. More information about your provisional ballot will be given to you when
      you vote.

                             VOTER DECEpTION AND SUppRESSION

                                 what to look for in 008


Examples of suppression tactics:
» Ohio State University 2008 - thousands of local students go to schools outside the county or
   state. The GOP targeted young voters for challenges. The GOP pre-challenged an estimated
   35,000 voters and rented arenas in Cleveland and Columbus to conduct the challenges.
»   Ohio 2008 - The GOP sent letters to registered voters’ addresses and when they failed to pick
    up a letter from the Republican Party in primarily Democratic areas, they were challenged for
    fraud. A federal judge disallowed the challenges less than a week before the election.
»   Indiana 2008 Primary - Unknown numbers of students in Indiana were not allowed to vote
    in the Democratic Primary because they only had student identification and lacked the proper
    government issued ID
»   Georgia 2008 - Incumbent council member, John Morris, attempted to take out an ad in the
    warning students that by registering to vote, they’d risk losing their financial aid and their
    parents could no longer list them as dependents on their tax returns.
»   Ohio 2006 and in the recent primaries - complaints received through the EP Hotline regarding
    intimidating police presence at or near polling locations.

Leading up to election day:
» Robocalls- North Carolina Primary 2008
» Intimidation - In 2006 and in the recent primaries, complaints through the EP Hotline
   regarding intimidating police presence at or near polling locations in Ohio.
» Disinformation Campaigns - This involves efforts to provide voters with false information to
   discourage voting and voter registration. In the recent presidential primary a “voter mobilization”
   group made calls to residents of predominantly African American neighborhoods in several
   states and provided them with incorrect information about voter registration.
» Caging – the practice of sending non-forwardable mail to voters and challenging the eligibility
   of every person for whom the mail is returned as undeliverable. Mailings are often targeted
   to minority communities.

      Deceptive practices at the polls:
      » Purges of voter rolls
      » Race based voter challenges
      » Voter ID and Proof of Citizenship
      E-Deceptive practices expected
      » Launching misinformation closer to the election days, hours, minutes before election begins.
      » Re-routing from an accurate website to a website with false information
      » Using “typo-domains” to create false websites with misinformation
      » Text messaging misinformation
      » Political scammers might seek to hijack or spoof the official sites of campaigns or local election
         boards, giving their misinformation an added veneer of credibility
      » Young people who disproportionately seek their information online—would be likely targets,
         most believed, though online affinity groups and social networks would also permit targeted
      » Other likely targets may be voters with obvious political leanings observed from their online
         activity and not traditionally disenfranchised groups
      » Due to the nature of the internet it will be harder to detect and counteract e-deceptive
      Voter ID- know your state requirements
      Many states now have specific requirements for what ID voters must bring to vote on Election
      Day. It is important that you and members of your community stay informed on your state
      requirements so you can cast your vote!
      » Crawford - The Supreme Court rejected a challenge to Indiana’s voter identification law, the
          most restrictive in the country, despite the fact that the law could block access to the ballot
          box for thousands of citizens. (
      » Stricter voter ID requirements and poll worker confusion about when to ask for ID have been
          seen in states such as Ohio and Illinois (Ohio Report): Illinois 2004 - Poll workers required
          all voters to show identification. They turned away voters without ID despite information
          provided indicating that voters do not need to show ID in most cases (Ohio Report)
      » Ohio 2004 - Reports of long-time voters showing up at the polls and found themselves no
          longer listed
      what to do if you experience problems:
      » Call our Election Protection Hotline
      » Contact your State Board of Elections or Secretary of State Office

                               HOw TO ORGANIzE YOUR COMMUNITY

                                       Voter Registration
The right to vote means nothing if citizens are not registered; in order to vote in any state, an
individual must first register. A successful voter registration drive and education program will
significantly improve your GOTV (Get Out the Vote) efforts and will help make sure the voice of
your community is heard on Election Day.

Tips for Conducting a Legal and Effective Registration Drive

It is important to inform yourself of election laws pertaining to voter registration drives during
the planning stages of your drive. For instance, under the federal election law, “any educational,
religious, or charitable organization is strictly prohibited from engaging in partisan political
activity.” Therefore, if you are holding this voter registration drive through a non-profit organization,
it is likely that your drive must be neutral and non-partisan. However, it important to note that it is
lawful to target your efforts towards populations that have been historically under-represented; these
populations include people of color, women, and low-income, low-turnout, homeless or student

Another legal issue you must be aware of, is the importance of reviewing all voter registration forms
submitted through you voter registration drive to ensure that only valid applications are turned in
the registrar’s office. Inform all volunteers that they would be subject to legal sanctions under state
law for submitting fraudulent applications. If you suspect fraudulent registrations, immediately
separate the applications obtained through that source and contact the individual applicants to
confirm their consent. Do not submit fraudulent applications or submit applications for unknown
applicants under any circumstances.

If you have any legal questions pertaining to your voter registration drive, please contact our legal
department at (202) 467-4999

planning your Voter Registration Drive:

  You cannot begin an effective voter registration drive without a written plan. Here are a few steps to
  help make your voter registration drive go as smoothly as possible:
         » Determine Goals
            »   Know the Rules
            »   Prepare a Budget
            »   Find and Train Volunteers
            »   Choose Tactics and Locations
            »   Publicize your Voter Registration Drive

      I.    Determine Goals:
            You should always set a goal when you begin a registration drive. You can phrase these goals
            a certain percentage of your communities’ unregistered voting population, (You can get
            statistics for your community from the Census Bureau and on the web at
            Alternately, you may also set your goal in an absolute number of citizens in which you wish
            to register through your efforts.

      II.   Know the Rules
            You should be clear about the election laws in your community before launching your
            campaign. Make sure you know:
            • Who is eligible to register to vote
            • Who is eligible to register voters
            • How to complete and return voter registration forms
            • If it is legal to make and keep copies of completed registration forms
            • Registration deadlines for upcoming elections
            • Locations of election board and registrar offices
            • Names of election officials

            Don’t hesitate to contact your local election office and obtain their regulation, procedures,
            and all the forms you will need to know for your drive. Contact information is provided later
            in this toolkit for the election officials from each local county to help you with this.

            Also, make sure to look into whether your state allows for Election Day Registration, this
            means that voters in the following states can go to the polls and register on the day of the

                              HOw TO ORGANIzE YOUR COMMUNITY
      election. Currently 9 states (Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North
      Carolina, Wisconsin, Wyoming) offer some form of election day registration.

      Following recent Supreme Court decisions, laws have increased their use of Voter ID laws
      to prove voters identification when they arrive at the polls. Please contact your local board of
      elections for specific requirements. However, typically voters must bring the following two
                  » Identification (i.e. driver’s license, non-driver state I.D. card, U.S. passport,
                       etc.) and/or
                  »   Proof of residency (i.e. check book with address printed on the checks, rent
                      receipt, recent utility bill, drivers license, or anything else which may list
                      both the name and the address together on a single card or document

III. prepare a budget
     A bigger budget does not mean a better registration drive, however it is important to be
     realistic about your costs. Work with your community to get “in-kind” donations (ie. Office
     space, supplies transportation) When creating a budget consider:
     » Salaries of paid staff
      »   Printing costs for fliers and advertisements
      »   Copying costs for voter registration forms
      »   Office supplies/phone
      »   Transportation costs
      »   Volunteer “comfort” costs (food, incentives, celebrations, etc.)
      »   Miscellaneous fees (for research, site-registration, office space, etc.)

IV.   Find and Train Volunteers
      You will need a “staff” volunteer or paid to help organize your civic participation program.
      Volunteers are the heart and soul of your drive. As long as they are motivated and
      enthusiastic, they will work hard. Keeping them there is your job. Do not forget the coffee,
      cold drinks, and refreshments—small gestures like these show your appreciation and help
      sustain your volunteers.

      where can you find volunteers?
      Community groups and organizations are great resources for finding volunteers. Social clubs,
      sororities and fraternities, senior centers, apartment complexes, religious congregations,
      local college and high school campuses and community organizations are all good recruiting

      How many volunteers should you recruit?
      Recruit as many volunteers as you can! Volunteers have different skills, and you will need
      volunteers to complete a variety of tasks. While all volunteers work at different paces, it is
      important to take into account the fact that most volunteers can register at least five people
      per hour. Keep this fact in mind when planning how many volunteers you may need.

      what do tips do you need to train your volunteers?
      Training your volunteers in how best to register voters is an important component to the
      success of your voter registration drive. Make sure that the volunteers are aware of all the
      election laws pertaining to registration and your registration drive. There are also several
      things you can tell them which would allow them to be more successful:
      » Make sure they give people registration forms, and show potential registrants how to fill
          out the forms
      »   After they have completed their registration form, instruct them how to verify information
          with the registrant; make sure they also check for common mistakes
      »   Remind them to Be Aggressive: don’t sit at the table you’ve set up. Get up, and walk
          with people and talk about

      How do you keep your volunteers?
      » Be courteous. Greet them and thank them personally
      »   Train volunteers with written instructions and demonstrations to show your volunteers
          exactly what to do and what to expect
      »   Try to match their skills with the tasks you assign them
      »   Give your volunteers a schedule and stick to the schedule yourself
      »   Be prepared when they arrive, and make sure you have enough work for them
      »   Volunteers should be able to get to the locations using public transportation, or you
          should offer to help arrange transportation for them. Aliso, it is imperative that all

                            HOw TO ORGANIzE YOUR COMMUNITY
         locations are accessible to people with disabilities
     »   The work area should be comfortable—make sure restrooms are available, and that there
         is a way for volunteers to cool off, or get warm.
     »   ALWAYS recognize and reward the work your volunteers do

     Once again, it is important to be aware of your state’s election laws. Certain states require
     that volunteers be deputized in order to collect and submit voter registration forms. Georgia,
     Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nebraska and Texas all require this.

V.   Choose Tactics and Locations
     Generally, there are three ways to register people to vote: door-to-door canvassing, on-site
     registration, and voter-registration events. All methods have their advantages—make sure
     to match volunteers with the tactic that is best for them. Some ideas for on-site registration
     locations: church, shopping malls, meeting places for public transportation, libraries, senior
     centers, ball games/events, fairs, hospital waiting rooms, schools—anywhere large group of
     people gather. Site-based and event-based registration events can yield fifty to hundreds or
     even thousands of volunteers depending on your target audience, location, and publicity. You
     should factor this into your registration goal.

VI. publicize your Voter Registration Drive
    Use the media to reach the people you are trying to register—it legitimizes your campaign,
    and increases awareness about upcoming elections.
    » Write articles and create public service announcements for newspapers, radio and TV
       stations, especially those which target large populations of unregistered voters
     »   Schedule appearances on radio talk shows, offer to do call-in interviews
     »   Send Press Kits to key radio, TV, and newspaper Community Affairs offices, their
         community affairs director and public relations people. Be aggressive. The media
         needs a good story. Me creative, and give the press a good angle. We have included
         Communications Materials and Samples in this toolkit.
     »   Arrange press conferences, prayer vigils, car caravans, marches and rallies. Always
         announce the location of your next scheduled registration event.
     »   Always have fliers ready to distribute. Leaflet at concerts, sporting events, transportation
         hubs, block parties, union meetings, and day care centers.

          »   Make some NOISE! Get a bullhorn and a sound truck. Go to all segments of the
              community—low income, high income, no income, black, white, Latino, etc.

                                           Voter Education

  Voter education is the foundation of all civic participation programs. Voters and potential voters
  need to know how the political process works, why their vote is important, and what is at stake if
  they do not vote. Arming voters with the information they need is an important defense against
  voter disenfranchisement—imagine how different the 2000 election may have been if more voters
  had been aware of their voting rights.

  ways to Educate Voters:
  There are many different arenas and a variety of methods you can used to help educate voters in your
  community. Voter education activities should increase awareness and knowledge about the political
  process, and should also stimulate substantive discussions about issues concerning our community.
  Suggestions include:

  Candidate Forums: Invite all candidates for local, state and federal office to attend a special forum.
  These forums can take the form of a debate, or they can be somewhat informal questions/answer

  Voter Registration Days: This method works for those involved with organizations of those in the
  religious community. Leaders can designate a specific gathering (i.e. weekly/monthly meetings or
  Sunday or Saturday services) to highlight the groups registration efforts to acknowledge volunteers
  and encourage others to volunteer. The groups can also use this as an opportunity to invite newly
  registered voters to get involved in their organization.

  Voter Equipment Demonstrations: One of the major problems in Florida’s 2000 election was the
  misuse of voting equipment. In many cases the intent of the voter was never realized because
  the machine didn’t work, was difficult to use or because the voter did not know how to use the
  equipment. Organizations can work with election officials to obtain voting machines for the purpose
  of showing citizens how to operate them. In addition to learning how to use the machine, it also
  reminds voters to check their ballot before depositing on Election Day

                               HOw TO ORGANIzE YOUR COMMUNITY

Distributing a List of Voting Locations: Again, this not only informs voters, but also reminds them
about upcoming elections. There are many good places to distribute this list including churches,
supermarkets, shopping centers, local college campuses, beauty parlors and barbershops.

Public Service Announcements: Many churches have radio and television ministries. Public Service
Announcements (PSAs) should promote and encourage voter registration and participation. PSAs
should also be created to broadcast on other radio and television stations.

Coalitions and Community Coordination: Planning voter education programs takes a tremendous
amount of planning. Working with other community leaders and organizations is sometimes the best
way to create a strong civic participation campaign. Building coalition and sharing resources with
other community organizations will help maximize your outreach.

                                 Get Out The Vote Campaign

Get Out The Vote (known as GOTV) is the culmination of all your long hours of work education
and registering potential voters. It is your job to identify all registered voters and encourage them
to vote. Additionally, with new voter ID laws, make sure that you inform everyone of the proper
identification they need to vote; don’t let registered voters stay home on Election Day – our future
depends on their vote!

The most successful civic participation campaigns will incorporate GOTV in every step of the
campaign. The emphasis of your campaign at all times should be to get out the vote.

To reach your GOTV goals you should begin at least 10 weeks in advance of Election Day. The
decisions you make early on will determine the quality of your campaign- make sure to evaluate
each area of your civic participation campaign to see where your goals overlap, and where you can
improve the campaign.

When planning your Get Out the Vote Campaign, you must make sure you research the election
law; there are several areas that are of particular importance to the campaign’s GOTV effort:
   » Poll Watchers: Who appoints them, how many are needed and how can one obtain poll-
       watching credentials?

      »   Precincts: What are the polling locations, and is it possible to obtain lists of the voters who
          are registered to vote there?
      »   Allowances and special assistance: Does the law require employers to give their employees
          time off to vote? What special assistance is offered to disabled or elderly voters?
      »   Hours: When do the polls open and when do they close?
      »   Observation: Who has the right to observe the election process, and in what manner?
      »   Lawsuits: If voters feel their voting rights have been compromised, which courts hear
          emergency, Election Day suits?
      »   Early Voting and Absentee Balloting: You should encourage those persons you register to vote
          early, if this option is available, or by absentee ballot.

  After properly researching information about your state, setting goals, and working with other
  community organizers and groups who are involved with GOTV campaigns, you must choose the
  tactics which can best help you meet your goals. Unless you have designed a program which contacts
  potential voters more than once, using several different tactics, you will not meet your goals. Below
  we will describe the different tactics:

  GOTV Rally: The GOTV Rally should involve all committees and volunteers. It should be well
  publicized throughout the community and used to boost excitement about voting. This can also be
  used a turn-out technique at key precincts.

  phone banking: Call voters as a reminder before Election Day asking them—“Do you know when
  Election Day is? Do you know where your polling place is? Do you need special assistance voting (a
  ride to the poll, babysitting services?)” This can also be used on Election Day as a turnout technique
  asking questions such as—“Have you voted today? Can I send someone out to pick you up? What
  time do you plan to vote—there are only X hours left to vote”

  Mailings: Can be used before Election Day as an education piece and a reminder—Voters’ Bill
  of Rights, Voter Guide, Polling location and other election information, services your campaign
  is providing. You can also use it as a turnout technique by mailing a simple reminder postcard
  scheduled to arrive on Election Day.

                               HOw TO ORGANIzE YOUR COMMUNITY
Canvassing: Can be used prior to Election Day as an educational technique and a voting reminder
by going door-to-door to distribute the same fliers information and answer questions. On Election
Day this can be used as a turn out to technique and should be used to flush neighborhoods, knocking
on every door and offering to take the people who have not yet voted directly to the polls

poll watching: If the law allows, make sure you have poll watchers inside each polling place,
monitoring who has voted, and who still needs to vote. The information that is gathered should be
reported to headquarters, and used to turn out people who have not yet voted. If possible, hook into
an Election Protection program to ensure that the rights of all voters are being protected. It’s a good
idea to have someone stationed at each poll with a complete list of registered voters, so you can tell
people who are not at the right polling location where they need to go

Transportation Services: Can be used on Election Day to transport volunteers to polling locations,
and to give voters a ride to the polls.

Events: Can be used before an election to serve as a reminder and to get people excited about voting
in the upcoming elections. Can be used on Election Day to get attention for your voting efforts, for
instance, try a “Honk and Wave” event—station volunteers at corners of major intersections in the
morning, at lunch and in the evening with signs that say, “Honk if you Voted”

Media Outreach: Public Service Announcements, Ads, Radio Shows, Press Conferences—the
more media reports you can garner surrounding the upcoming election, the more potential will be
reminded of the election. On Election day, make sure the air waves are saturated with the GOTV
message—team up with local radio shows to help get your message across.


  People For the American Way sent a version of the following survey to a variety of Election
  Officials across our target states in an attempt to learn more about their election process and their
  preparedness for the 2008 campaign. Their completion of the survey enables PFAW to identify
  concerns and work on solutions and recommendations before Election Day. Please read through
  the questions in an effort to learn more about the main issues we are working with officials
  on and in an attempt to learn more about our concerns. The following is a sample. If you are
  interested in utilizing the more extensive survey, please contact Michele L. Jawando at (202)

                                   Section 1: Voter Registration
      »   What is the maximum number of days it takes to process a voter registration form once it is
          received by your office?
      »   Within how many days does state law mandate that a registration form be processed?
      »   Are all voters sent a voter registration card before the election?
      »   Are voters new to the state considered to be first-time registrants?
      »   Are voters who are currently registered in the state, but are new to the county/parish considered
          to be first-time registrants?
      »   Can registrants who are not yet 18, but will be by the time of the election, register to vote?

                           Section : Voter Registration processing
      »   Do voters need to bring voter registration/ information cards with them in order to vote?
      »   Will a registrant be allowed to cure a defect in an application even after the registration
          deadline has expired if the original application was submitted before the deadline?

      Section : polling place Resources (Including Voting Machines, paper
                            ballots, Emergency ballots)
      »   Do you have a system in place for handling a voting machine malfunction?
      »   How many unassigned or back-up machines are available to replace malfunctioning voting

                                                      ELECTION OFFICIAL SURVEY
  »   Are voting machines serviced before an election or as needed?
  »   How many provisional ballots were cast in the 2006 election?
  »   If a voter makes a mistake on his/her ballot can she get another?
  »   If so, how many replacement ballots can they receive?

                      Section : poll-workers & Voter Education
  »   How many poll worker trainings are conducted each year?
  »   Has the state designed a statewide poll worker training guide/manual?
  »   Approximately how many poll workers will be assigned to each polling place?
  »   Do you have any efforts to educate voters before Election Day?
  »   Are sample ballots published in the local newspaper or mailed to registered voters?
  »   Are ballots in any language other than English?

                               Section 5 : Voter Identification
  »   Are first-time voters notified of the voter identification requirements?
  »   If a voter’s current address differs from that on their ID, is their registration still valid?
  »   If a voter’s current address differs from that on their ID, will it still be processed?

              Section 6: Voter Suppression and Deceptive practices,
                                 Disability Access
 Do you have a system in place for handling complaints of voting irregularities, Deceptive Practices,
or Voter Suppression?
   » Do you have rules for campaigning outside of a polling location?
  »   Is local law enforcement present at polling locations on Election Day?

          Section 7: Early Voting/ Absentee Voting & Motor Voter and
                               Agency Registration
  »   Do you have an early voting period?
  »   Can everyone vote early, including those who registered just before the voter registration

      »   Do you have no-excuse absentee ballot voting?

                           Section 8 : Ex-Offender Related questions
      »   Are citizens convicted of a felony who are out on parole eligible to vote?
      »   Are citizens formerly convicted of a felony who have completed all aspects of their sentence
          (incarceration, parole, probation, restitution, etc.) eligible to vote?
      »   If no, are they eligible to register or reregister upon completion of their sentence of incarceration
          for conviction of a felony?

                                  Section 9: Voter List Maintenance
      »   How do you define “inactive” voters?
      »   Is there a list of inactive voters?
      »   Approximately how many names are on the list as of today’s date?
      »   After submitting an application, how can a voter verify that she has been placed on the rolls?
          Electronically , By Mail, Phoning County Registration Offices Other:
      »   Has the voter list been purged by the county since the 2007 election?
      »   How do you notify a voter that his/her name will be purged from the voter rolls?
          Courier Registered/ Certified Mail Electronically Phone Other:
      »   Is there a process in place to investigate the voting status of individuals with mail returned as


provisional ballots
All polling locations are required to have fail-safes back-up conditional ballots called “provisional
ballots.” There are a few reasons that members of your community should cast a provisional
 1. When a registered voter does not have the required voter ID of their state,
 2. When a voter believes they have registered properly, but their name does not appear on the
    registration rolls,
 3. If a voter finds that their Voter Information Card has incorrect information,
 4. If a person requested an absentee ballot, but did not cast it and did not bring their incomplete
    absentee ballot to the polls with them.
The rules for casting a provisional ballot in Florida should be carefully studied by poll workers
and Election Protection officials so they are well aware of how best to advice their community
members. Some main things to know are:
     If a member of your community cast a provisional ballot solely because they did not have
     the proper signature and photo identification, they do not need to provide more evidence of
     eligibility to the Board of Elections.
     If a member of your community cast a provisional ballot because their eligibility could not be
     determined at the polls, they have until 5 PM on November 6th, to confirm their eligibility
     with written evidence. They should prove their eligibility at their county Supervisor of
     Elections’ office. Check the location of this office at
Inactive Voters
Inactive voters are voters that are placed on a list by the state of Florida after not returning an
address confirmation notice. Periodically, the Supervisors of Elections will send out these notices
to voters whose address on the registration rolls is in question. All voters who do not return the
confirmation notice within 30 days are moved to an “inactive voter” status. If after two general
elections these voters have not removed themselves from inactive status, their names are removed
from the registration rolls all together and they must entirely re-register to be eligible to vote.

      If a voter believes they may be categorized as inactive or if they are not sure because they may
      satisfy the above requirements to become inactive, they should check with their Supervisor of
      Elections. By calling up their Supervisor of Elections, voters will be able to confirm their status
      in the registration rolls and if they are inactive they can easily then re-activate themselves through
      their Supervisor of Elections. If voters have not been entirely removed from the registration rolls
      after the two years, voters can become active voters again by simply showing up to vote, requesting
      an absentee ballot, or registering to vote again.

      Emergency ballots
      In the case of an emergency or failure of the electronic machines used in most every county in
      Florida, the State is required to provide voters with “substitute ballots.” Each polling location
      is mandated to have as many of these paper ballots as voters they expect that day. These ballots
      are different from provisional ballots because they are not contested and should look as similar as
      possible to the original ballots to avoid confusion by voters and poll workers.

      Early Voting
      Early voting is a new type of voting for the state of Florida. Early, in-person voting as mandated
      by the state requires that all Supervisors of Elections open their main and branch offices to early
      voters. Additionally, some Supervisors of Elections will designate city hall or public libraries as
      polling locations if they so choose. You may vote at these locations for 8 hours every weekday in
      this period and 8 aggregate hours on the weekend to accommodate as many voters as possible.
      For the November 2008 elections, early voting begins on October 20th and ends November 1st,

      Absentee Voting
      Florida has a no excuse absentee voting system where any registered voter may request an absentee
      ballot. If a registered voter is unable to request a ballot for themselves, the immediate family

or legal guardian of the voter may request a ballot on their behalf. If you are overseas (such as
residents of Florida residing outside the state or members of the active military or Merchant
Marine) you may have your absentee ballot sent to you by email or fax. Generally absentee ballots
can be requested by mail or by telephone, and they can also be picked up in person at the office
of your Supervisor of Elections.
If a person is handing your request in for you, they must come with written authorization from
you the voter and their photo ID and then sign an affidavit. A designee can pick up an absentee
ballot 5 days before the election and even on Election Day. If you want your absentee ballot
mailed to you, you must submit the application by 5 PM on October 29th, 2008 to ensure you
receive it in time. You must then submit your absentee ballot by mail or personal designee by 7
PM on Election Day to be valid.
If you requested an absentee ballot but you would like to cast an in person ballot, you must come
to the polling site with your incomplete absentee ballot. If you do not have the absentee ballot
you will be asked to vote a provisional ballot which will be automatically counted when it is
shown that you did not submit your absentee ballot.

                         pRESS MATERIALS

                      COMMUNICATIONS MATERIALS
      Requiring voters to show identification at the polls is a new development in election procedures,
      many people are still unaware or misinformed about voter ID laws. It is vital that people be
      informed about what will be expected of them on Election Day so that every voice is heard. When
      working with this issue the media is an indispensable tool for getting the public’s attention. In
      the following samples we have provided exemplify ways in which you can work with your local

      The first sample is of event information for a Voting Rights Day that was held in Ohio in
      2007. An event like this is a useful outlet for discussions about issues surrounding voting rights.
      When hosting similar events it is crucial that you inform the community about important event
      information. The format provided is an effective means of communicating this information. You
      may also want to forward this information to your local television, newspaper, and radio outlets.

      The second sample is of a Press Release, which are documents created to announce news or
      positions surrounding a specific topic. When you want to inform the press on your involvement
      or view of an issue, creating a press release is an efficient and effective way to accomplish this.
      Press releases should be brief and usually restricted to one page; they also should be written in
      the format of a news story. Distribute the press release you develop to local and national media
      outlets, and be sure to do a follow phone call.

      Next we have included a sample of an Op-Ed piece. It may be beneficial to write an op-ed piece
      for your local newspaper or other publication. This will be a good way to draw attention to the
      issue and be able to share your views directly with the public.

      Finally we have provided a comprehensive guide to writing Letters to the Editor. Please refer to
      this section if you wish to express your views in response to a publication.

                                                                                pRESS MATERIALS
FOR PLANNING PURPOSES                           CONTACT: Stacey Gates
October 23, 2007                                            202-467-4999

          Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner to Headline Ohio Voting Rights Day
   With the Crucial 2008 Elections Around the Corner, Panelists Will Discuss Ohio’s Preparedness for 2008 and

Voting rights experts from across Ohio will join Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner for “Ohio Voting Rights
Day,” Wednesday, October 24, featuring a panel on voting rights and election reform, and a conversation with the
Secretary of State on Ohio’s preparedness for the 2008 presidential elections and beyond. Panelists will discuss
several hot button issues including access to the polls, voter ID, deceptive practices, public agency voter registration,
disabilities access, and voting systems.

The panel will be held from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. on the 31st floor of the Vern Riffe Center (77 South High Street).
The forum is co-sponsored by People For the American Way, ACORN Ohio, America Votes Ohio, Common Cause
Ohio, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Ohio Votes, and Ohio Women with Disabilities Network.

Please contact Stacey Gates at if you have any questions.

                       “Ohio Voting Rights Day: Is Ohio Prepared For 2008 and Beyond?”

Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Panel – 10:00 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Keynote Address from Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner – 12 p.m.

Riffe Center, 31st Floor
77 South High Street

Panel moderated by Shaun Tucker, Ohio State Coordinator, People For the American Way
Professor Dan Tokaji, Ohio State University Moritz College of Law
Pete Johnson, CASE Ohio
Carla Lortz, Ohio Women With Disabilities Network
Mary Keith, ACORN Ohio

Keynote Address from Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                   CONTACT: Drew Courtney or Josh Glasstetter
April 28, 2008                                                  at 202-467-4999

              People For: Supreme Court Won’t Stand Up For Voters

Tomfoolery The Supreme Court today rejected a challenge to Indiana’s voter identification law, the most restrictive
in the country, despite the fact that the law could block access to the ballot box for thousands of citizens.

“The Supreme Court has abdicated its role as the defender of our democracy. The Justices should clear the path to
the ballot box for voters, not help block the way,” said Kathryn Kolbert, President of People For the American Way
Foundation. “Voter ID laws are intended to suppress voter turnout. If voter ID advocates were truly interested
in fixing our election system, they’d be working to make elections verifiable and end deceptive practices that keep
people from the polls.

“Democracy only works when all eligible voters can actually cast a ballot. The Justices are letting politicians erect
barricades against some groups of voters – and that’s absolutely unacceptable. It’s particularly galling that this ruling
comes just before a primary that was predicted to include record numbers of new voters. I’m afraid this is exactly
the kind of ruling we’ve grown to expect from this Court. It highlights once again how important future nominees
to the High Court will be to Americans rights and legal protections.”

“The threat of voter fraud is a ruse. Study after study shows that there is no widespread in person fraud by voters
in this country, but there are millions of eligible voters who don’t have the ID these laws require -- senior citizens
who don’t drive, students, the disabled, low-income people, all of whom have the right to vote. These laws throw up
barriers that keep people away from the polls.

People For the American Way Foundation joined an amicus brief in this case regarding the myth of voter fraud. The
brief can be found here.


                                                                                          pRESS MATERIALS
The New Face of the poll Tax
By Nathanael D. Isaacson
(Lead commentary in The Austin American-Statesman, Saturday, April 28, 2007)

We all believe democracy works best when as many people vote as possible. But I have a question. Why are some lawmakers in
the Texas Legislature trying to make it harder for U.S. citizens to register and vote?
I don’t have copies of my birth certificate or my passport. I’m one of those citizens, but I’m not the only one. Also, I was
adopted. And under a bill filed by Rep. Phil King that has already passed in the House, I might not be able to vote in the
future -- unless I work through a lot of hassles and spend a lot of money.
Rep. King’s bill requires every person registering to vote in Texas to provide certified copies of either a U.S.passport, a birth
certificate, or naturalization papers. You can’t simply photocopy these documents. They must be “certified.”
I am a law student who moved here form New York, and instantly fell in love with Austin and with Texas. This is my home,
and I want to vote here. So, I set out to see if I could prove my citizenship to Rep. King’s satisfaction. Try it – it’s not as easy as
it sounds.
I have a passport, but not a certified copy. I lost my birth certificate years ago. And since my name was changed when I was
adopted, the name on my birth certificate is not the same as my current name.
To get the necessary documents, I would have to send a notarized letter with my information to the U.S. State Department
requesting a certified copy of my passport record. To notarize the letter alone would cost $6, along with a shocking $30 for the
certified copy.
So, let’s try using my birth certificate instead. For $16, I can obtain a certified copy of my birth certificate, but it has to be
notarized. Add $6 for a notary at the local UPS store, or $4 if I wait in a long line at a county clerk’s office. That’s $22, and a
lot of time and effort.
Yet even then I wouldn’t be able to register, because the name on my birth certificate does not match my current ID. I need a
certified copy of my “change of name” form, which happens to be in the Shawano County Clerk’s office in Wisconsin, where
I lived when I was adopted. That’s $7.25, and another $1 to send a self-addressed, stamped envelope – unless I want to pay for
a round trip to Wisconsin to pick it up. So far, the total cost to use my birth certificate is a little more than $30, plus hours of
research, a lot of phone calls, and weeks of waiting.
I am a proud U.S. citizen who will swear under oath, at risk of criminal penalty, that I am eligible to vote. My father fought
for my rights in Vietnam. Yet now I am faced with what amounts to a new form of poll tax. Forty one years ago, the Supreme
Court found that the $1.50 poll tax violated the Fourteenth Amendment and was therefore ruled unconstitutional.
If we adjust for inflation, that would be about $8 today. That’s nothing compared to my $30 or more.
Now, take my situation and multiply it. How many students don’t have these documents? How many senior citizens? How
many low-income families have the time and resources to go through any of these steps? The truth is few people will be willing
to spend the time or the money.
This isn’t a proof-of-citizenship bill. This is a bill to keep people away from the polls. And that’s just wrong. I hope that the
people of Texas will ask all who support this bill why they want to make it harder for people to vote.
Nathanael D. Isaacson is a law student working as a legislative analyst at People For the American Way’s Texas office.


                        wRITING LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
When writing in to the editor keeps your letters short. The best letters only try to make one point and make it
well. If they’re more than 200 words, they will almost never be published. Write letters responding to articles that
run in your newspaper. Letters that refer to something that has already run in a newspaper are usually the ones
that are most likely to be published. We have provided a few talking points to help get you started. It’s okay to use
the talking points or sample letters for ideas, but it’s important that you use your own words. If newspaper editors
receive copies of form letters from multiple people opposed to voter ID, they’ll be less likely to run any letters
opposing voter ID.

                                    points you could make in a letter:

  »   While voter ID laws may seem like no burden to those of us who have a current driver's license, it's not hard
      to think about people all of us know who might find it a great barrier to the voting booth. For example senior
      citizens, students, and low-income urban residence are unlikely to have a valid driver’s license for their place
      of residence.
  »   All of these people have every right to vote. We should be passing laws that make it easier for people to go to
      the ballot box, not harder. We should removebarriers, not create new barriers to the polling place.
  »   Voter ID requirements creates barriers to the polls, ultimately paving the way for eligible voters to be left out
      of the process – and even one eligible person being left out of the process is unacceptable.
  »   The cost of new ID requirements will amount to a modern-day poll tax for many of our citizens. Saying that
      an ID is free is misleading. Many will be forced to spend money and time away from work to obtain the
      documents necessary for the ID, such as a birth certificate and will have to spend time away from work to
      obtain the ID.
  »   Some would have us believe that this is an answer to in-person voter fraud. That’s nonsense. There is very
      little evidence of in-person voter fraud, and voter ID will not remedy this type of abuse if it occurs.
  »   The problem in this country is not people trying to vote who shouldn't -- it's all the people who can vote, but
      don't. Many people don't vote because of rules like this, that make it too complicated, hard and costly for
      them to go to the polls. We should be passing laws that make it easier to vote, not harder.
  »   Despite this wave of interest, supporters of this law in Indiana and around the country cannot point to
      any significant instances of in-person voter impersonation. That’s because in-person voter fraud is not a

                                                                       LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
                                                    Sample letters:

Please do not submit this letter for publication. Remember, it is important to write a letter in your own words.
This sample is intended to give you an idea of what a good letter might look like. The letter you submit should be


Your recent editorial on the dangers that voter ID pose to our right to vote duly recognized the need to ensure voter security
for all Texans by reexamining this controversial law, which would disproportionately harm minorities, students, elderly and
low-income voters.

From the moment this legislation was presented, I recognized that it was faulty in its reasoning and prejudiced in its effects.
If passed, it would prevent many of my fellow Texans from being able to vote. The law would impose a modern-day poll
tax and would bring us dangerously close to the times of voting rights violations that have not been seen since the Jim Crow

I applaud the Houston Chronicle for taking a stand for Texas voters. You got it right and I hope that when legislators revisit
the voter identification bill in General Assembly, they will get it right too. When legislators reconvene, I hope they keep in
mind these words and the voices of others in the community that we must proceed with more inclusive measures to protect
Texans from fraud and voter intimidation. I hope they will consider laws that make it easier for all eligible voters -- and
only eligible voters -- to cast a ballot, not harder.


                      CONTACT INFORMATION
                                  ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Enclosed is contact information for you to find additional resources and information. One of the primary sources
is the Election Protection Coalition, which includes People for the American Way Foundation. You should use this
information to receive further information about voter ID and voting rights.

Furthermore we have included contact information for the Election Incident Reporting Systems that records and
analyzes information about voting problems before, during, and after elections. This web based system is set up
to record voting incidents; voters can report incidents by phone by calling 1 866 OUR VOTE. After the election
the system is used to work with elected officials to fix flaws from the previous election and to shape federal law on
elections. This hotline number should be spread widely to your community so that if there are problems during
Election Day lawyers can come quickly to protect the rights of others.

people For the American way Foundation:
People for the American Way Foundation is a progressive organization dedicated to mobilizing activists across the
country on a variety of civil rights and civil liberties issues. Our affiliate People For the American Way monitors state
and federal legislation, as well as the Religious right, and communicate their findings to members and activists. Our
website provides comprehensive information about the Religious Right, public education, vouchers, charter schools,
religious liberties, and civil rights.

        People for the American Way Foundation
        Phone Number: (202) 467-4999
        Toll Free: 800-326-7329 Fax Number: (202) 293-2672

        Kathryn Kolbert

        Tanya Clay House
        Public Policy Director
        Director, Democracy Campaign

        Michele Lawrence-Jawando
        Legislative Counsel & Campaign Manager for Election Protection

The Democracy Campaign:
A project of People For the American Way and People for the American Way foundation, the campaign works to
protect the electoral fairness and equity, a priority for the 2008 election. The website provides great resources and
information on how to protect elections, including state-specific resources for your use.

        The Democracy Campaign

        Election Protection Hotline

The Center for Voting and Democracy:
The Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to fair elections where every vote counts and all voters are
represented. As a catalyst for reform, they conduct research, analysis, education and advocacy to build understand of
and support for more democratic voting systems. You can find more information and resources at:

        The Center for Voting and Democracy

Getvoting411 is one of the most comprehensive listings of US federal, state, and local elections offices on the
Internet. All 50 states are represented with hotlinks to state, county, and city elections offices. The site also leads you
to a listing of federal agencies that provide election-related information.


Sponsored by the League of Women Voters Education Fund (LWVEF) this web site provides ‘one-stop-shop’
information about elections across the country. It is possible to search for election information by state or topic,
making this one of the most user-friendly resources.



Director’s Office of the Department of State,      Florida Voter Assistance Hotline
Division of Elections                              (Toll Free) 1-866-308-6739
Main Line: (850) 245-6200                          The toll free Voter Hotline number for people using
Fax Numbers: (850) 245-6217 or (850) 245-6218      TTY is 1-800-955-8771.
                                                   For more information visit the Florida Relay Service.
bureau of Voter Registration Services              Voter Fraud Hotline
Main Line : (850) 245-6290                         (Toll Free) 1-877-868-3737
Fax Number : (850) 245-6291
Email :

  Alachua County Supervisor of Elections        Brevard County Supervisor of Elections
  PO Box 1496                                   PO Box 1119
  Gainesville FL 32602-1496                     Titusville FL 32781-1119
  Phone Number: (352)-374-5252                  Phone Number: (321)-264-6740

  Baker County Supervisor of Elections          Broward County Supervisor of Elections
  PO Box 505                                    PO Box 029001
  Macclenny FL 32063                            Fort Lauderdale FL 33302
  Phone Number: (904)-259-6339                  Phone Number: (954)-357-7050
  Bay County Supervisor of Elections
  205 Mosley Drive                              Calhoun County Supervisor of Elections
  Lynn Haven FL 32444                           20859 Central Ave. E., Room G10
  Phone Number: (850)-784-6100                  Blountstown FL 32424
                                                Phone Number: (850)-674-8568
  Bradford County Supervisor of Elections       Charlotte County Supervisor of Elections
  PO Box 58                                     PO Box 511229
  Starke FL 32091                               Punta Gorda FL 33951-1229
  Phone Number: (904)-966-6266                  Phone Number: (941)-637-2232

                                           FLORIDA CONTACT INFORMATION
Citrus County Supervisor of Elections           Flagler County Supervisor of Elections
120 N. Apopka Ave.                              PO Box 901
Inverness FL 34450                              Bunnell FL 32110-0901
Phone Number: (352)-341-6740                    Phone Number: (386)-313-4170

Clay County Supervisor of Elections             Franklin County Supervisor of Elections
PO Box 337                                      47 Ave. F
Green Cove Springs FL 32043-0337                Apalachicola FL 32320
Phone Number: (904)-284-6350                    Phone Number: (850)-653-9520

Collier County Supervisor of Elections          Gadsden County Supervisor of Elections
3301 Tamiami Trail E., Rev. Dr. MLK Jr. Bldg.   PO Box 186
Naples FL 34112                                 Quincy FL 32353
Phone Number: (239)-252-8450                    Phone Number: (850)-627-9910

Columbia County Supervisor of Elections         Gilchrist County Supervisor of Elections
971 W. Duval St., Suite 102                     112 S. Main St., Room 128
Lake City FL 32055-3737                         Trenton FL 32693
Phone Number: (386)-758-1026                    Phone Number: (352)-463-3194

Desoto County Supervisor of Elections           Glades County Supervisor of Elections
PO Box 89                                       PO Box 668
Arcadia FL 34265                                Moore Haven FL 33471
Phone Number: (863)-993-4871                    Phone Number: (863)-946-6005

Dixie County Supervisor of Elections            Gulf County Supervisor of Elections
PO Box 2057                                     401 Long Ave.
Cross City FL 32628                             Port St. Joe FL 32456-1707
Phone Number: (352)-498-1216                    Phone Number: (850)-229-6117

Duval County Supervisor of Elections            Hamilton County Supervisor of Elections
105 E. Monroe St.                               1153 US Hwy. 41 NW, Suite 1
Jacksonville FL 32202                           Jasper FL 32052
Phone Number: (904)-630-1414                    Phone Number: (386)-792-1426

                                                Hardee County Supervisor of Elections
Escambia County Supervisor of Elections         311 N. 6th Ave.
PO Box 12601                                    Wauchula FL 33873
Pensacola FL 32591-2601                         Phone Number: (863)-773-6061
Phone Number: (850)-595-3900

Hendry County Supervisor of Elections         Lafayette County Supervisor of Elections
PO Box 174                                    PO Box 76
LaBelle FL 33975                              Mayo FL 32066
Phone Number: (863)-675-5230                  Phone Number: (386)-294-1261

Hernando County Supervisor of Elections       Lake County Supervisor of Elections
20 N. Main St., Room 165                      PO Box 457
Brooksville FL 34601                          Tavares FL 32778-0457
Phone Number: (352)-754-4125                  Phone Number: (352)-343-9734

Highlands County Supervisor of Elections      Lee County Supervisor of Elections
PO Drawer 3448                                PO Box 2545
Sebring FL 33871                              Fort Myers FL 33902
Phone Number: (863)-402-6655                  Phone Number: (239)-533-VOTE (8683)

Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections   Leon County Supervisor of Elections
601 E. Kennedy Blvd., 16th Floor              PO Box 7357
Tampa FL 33602                                Tallahassee FL 32314-7357
Phone Number: (813)-272-5850                  Phone Number: (850)-606-VOTE (8683)

Holmes County Supervisor of Elections         Levy County Supervisor of Elections
201 N. Oklahoma St., Suite 102                421 S. Court
Bonifay FL 32425                              St. Bronson FL 32621
Phone Number: (850)-547-1107                  Phone Number: (352)-486-5163

Indian River County Supervisor of Elections   Liberty County Supervisor of Elections
4375 43rd Ave., Unit 101                      PO Box 597
Vero Beach FL 32967                           Bristol FL 32321
Phone Number: (772)-226-3440                  Phone Number: (850)-643-5226

Jackson County Supervisor of Elections        Madison County Supervisor of Elections
PO Box 6046                                   229 SW Pinckney St., Room 113
Marianna FL 32447                             Madison FL 32340
Phone Number: (850)-482-9652                  Phone Number: (850)-973-6507

Jefferson County Supervisor of Elections      Manatee County Supervisor of Elections
380 W. Dogwood                                PO Box 1000
St. Monticello FL 32344                       Bradenton FL 34206
Phone Number: (850)-997-3348                  Phone Number: (941)-741-3823

                                          FLORIDA CONTACT INFORMATION
Marion County Supervisor of Elections         Osceola County Supervisor of Elections
PO Box 289                                    2509 E. Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy.
Ocala FL 34478-0289                           Kissimmee FL 34744
Phone Number: (352)-620-3290                  Phone Number: (407)-742-6000

Martin County Supervisor of Elections
PO Box 1257                                   Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections
Stuart FL 34995                               PO Box 22309
Phone Number: (772)-288-5637                  West Palm Beach FL 33416
                                              Phone Number: (561)-656-6200
Miami-Dade County Supervisor of Elections
PO Box 521550                                 Pasco County Supervisor of Elections
Miami FL 33152-1550                           PO Box 300
Phone Number: 305-499-VOTE (8683)             Dade City FL 33526-0300
                                              Phone Number: (352)-521-4302
Monroe County Supervisor of Elections
530 Whitehead St., Suite 101                  Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections
Key West FL 33040-6577                        13001 Starkey Road
Phone Number: (305)-292-3416                  Largo FL 33773-1416
                                              Phone Number: (727)-464-6108
Nassau County Supervisor of Elections
96135 Nassau Place,
Suite 3 Yulee FL 32097                        Polk County Supervisor of Elections
Phone Number: (904)-491-7500                  PO Box 1460
                                              Bartow FL 33831-1460
Okaloosa County Supervisor of Elections       Phone Number: (863)-534-5888
302 Wilson St. N., Suite 102
Crestview FL 32536-3440                       Putnam County Supervisor of Elections
Phone Number: (850)-689-5600                  2509 Crill Ave., Suite 900
                                              Palatka FL 32177
Okeechobee County Supervisor of Elections     Phone Number: (386)-329-0224
304 NW 2nd St., Room 101
Okeechobee FL 34972                           Santa Rosa County Supervisor of Elections
Phone Number: (863)-763-4014                  6495 Caroline St., Suite F
                                              Milton FL 32570-4592
Orange County Supervisor of Elections         Phone Number: (850)-983-1900
PO Box 562001
Orlando FL 32856                              Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections
Phone Number: (407)-836-2070                  PO Box 4194
                                              Sarasota FL 34230-4194
                                              Phone Number: (941)-861-8600

                                           Wakulla County Supervisor of Elections
Seminole County Supervisor of Elections    PO Box 305
PO Box 1479                                Crawfordville FL 32326-0305
Sanford FL 32772-1479                      Phone Number: (850)-926-7575
Phone Number: (407)-585-VOTE (8683)
                                           Walton County Supervisor of Elections
St. Johns County Supervisor of Elections   571 E. Nelson Ave. (US Hwy. 90)
4455 Ave. A, Suite 101                     DeFuniak Springs FL 32433
St. Augustine FL 32095                     Phone Number: (850)-892-8112
Phone Number: (904)-823-2238
                                           Washington County Supervisor of Elections
St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections   1331 South Blvd., Suite 900
4132 Okeechobee Road                       Chipley FL 32428
Fort Pierce FL 34947                       Phone Number: (850)-638-6230
Phone Number: (772)-462-1500

Sumter County Supervisor of Elections
900 N. Main St.
Bushnell FL 33513
Phone Number: (352)-793-0230

Suwannee County Supervisor of Elections
220 Pine Ave. SW
Live Oak FL 32064
Phone Number: (386)-362-2616

Taylor County Supervisor of Elections
PO Box 1060 Perry FL 32348
Phone Number: (850)-838-3515

Union County Supervisor of Elections
Phone Number: (386)-496-2236
55 W. Main St., Room 106
Lake Butler FL 32054

Volusia County Supervisor of Elections
125 W. New York Ave.
DeLand FL 32720-4208
Phone Number: (386)-736-5930


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