Detroit Free Press interviews NNAAC official for Election Day story

The National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC), a project of ACCESS, was included in an Election Day article by the Detroit Free Press for being stationed at several polling locations in southeast Michigan on Tuesday.VoterRegButton.JPG

The Free Press interviewed poll monitors for a story on the heavier than usual turnouts at the polls.

Rachid Elabed, Advocacy and Civic Engagement specialist with NNAAC, spoke to the Free Press about the organization’s efforts to introduce more bilingual poll workers to help voters who are non-native English speakers. That makes for a more efficient system and keeps lines shorter, he said.

NNAAC recruited and trained 40 bilingual poll workers to assist with the elections this year.

Alyssa Hernandez, of Michigan United, which also organized the Election Day volunteers, was also interviewed and talked about the history of voter suppression in the area. Access to voting can be made more difficult by language barriers, she said.

Volunteers were spread across polling locations in southwest Detroit, Dearborn and Dearborn Heights. They also helped with ensuring that eligible voters received assistance in their native language, were able to cast a ballot with proper ID, or cast a provisional ballot if they didn't have ID available, and were able to vote in a safe and accessible polling place. 

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