ACCESS joins pro-immigrant groups to monitor polls

ACCESS and other pro-immigrant groups are working together Tuesday, Nov. 4, to protect the rights of immigrant and new AmericanVoterReg.JPG voters on Election Day in parts of southeast Michigan.

Volunteers, including attorneys, with ACCESS, Michigan United and the Michigan Election Coalition will be at polling sites in southwest Detroit, Dearborn and Dearborn Heights, according to a Michigan United news release.

"No citizen should face barriers or discrimination at the ballot box just because they are an immigrant, or speak a language other than English. Our democracy is strong when everyone has an equal chance to participate," said Michigan United Southwest Detroit Voting Rights Coordinator Alyssa Hernandez in the release. "We're standing up as a community to ensure that everyone's voice is heard."

The volunteers will work to ensure that all eligible voters are able to:

  • Receive assistance in their native language
  • Cast a ballot with proper ID
  • Cast a provisional ballot if they don't have ID available
  • Vote in a safe and accessible polling place

During the primary election earlier this year in Dearborn Heights, many Arab American voters faced discrimination when attempting to apply for absentee ballots, according to Michigan United. Polling places in southwest Detroit's Springwells Village have been inaccessible and difficult to find.  Also, voters often do not have access to translated materials.

Volunteers are still needed on Election Day, and those interested may contact alyssa@miunited.org to participate.

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