Confused about voting changes in light of COVID-19? This hotline can help.
Lawyers' Committee

Election Protection partners including Kristen Clarke, President and Executive Director, Lawyers' Committee

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Lawyers' Committee

As more restrictions are enacted to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, confusion around the upcoming elections continue to rise.

Election dates and polling locations are changing as Election officials respond to the global pandemic.

Since mid-March, in response to the coronavirus, some states have postponed and rescheduled primary elections. Others have encouraged voting by mail. We have also seen the consolidation of polling places, leading to more crowded vote centers and longer waits to vote. Lack of needed voter education has led to confusion around dates and deadlines for mail-in ballots.

It is important to stay safe and follow the government's advice on social distancing, but it's also crucial to exercise your right to vote so all American's voices are heard. Voters should not have to choose between their health and their right to vote.

"In light of the tremendous uncertainties arising from the COVID-19 crisis, we urge that states do everything within their powers to make sure that all eligible voters can vote, including liberalizing to the fullest extent possible the use of absentee ballots and easing deadlines," said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers' Committee. "States must move quickly but thoughtfully to ensure that all voters have full access this election season."

In order to make sure your vote counts, it's important to know your rights. With constantly changing election plans, confusion surrounding recent court rulings, and the lack of accurate voting information, it can be hard to keep up with what is needed to cast a ballot that will count.

Luckily there are resources out there to keep you informed of your rights and provide you with the necessary information to ensure you're able to get out and vote.

Election Protection, a coalition convened by the Lawyers' Committee, is one such resource. The nation's longest running non-partisan voter protection effort works year-round to ensure that all voters have an equal opportunity to vote and have that vote count.

The 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) hotline administered by the Lawyers' Committee, provides Americans with comprehensive information and assistance for all stages of the voting process. Including election dates, voter registration, absentee voting requirements and deadlines, and help to address any obstacles that might arise while trying to take part in the electoral process.

Thanks to a network of thousands of legal volunteers and over 200 partner organizations, the hotline provides vital resources to help ensure that every eligible American has the opportunity to exercise the fundamental right to vote in the 2020 election cycle.

"Throughout the election cycle, our volunteers provide voter information, document problems they encounter when voting and work with partners and volunteers on the ground to identify and remove barriers to voting," according to the organization.

Since 1963, the Lawyers' Committee has worked to advance and protect the right to vote and ensure that the right is afforded equally to all.

You, too, can help by staying informed and increasing voter awareness. Sign up for the Lawyers' Committee newsletter for the latest information on voting rights. To get updates on polling locations and election changes due to coronavirus, check out the Election Protection website and Twitter account for up-to-date information on current elections, and call the hotline if you have any questions. You can also donate to the Lawyers' Committee to help defend our democracy and fight for equal justice for all.

In the meantime, test your knowledge on voting rights with the quiz below.

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This year more than ever, many families are anticipating an empty dinner table. Shawn Kaplan lived this experience when his father passed away, leaving his mother who struggled to provide food for her two children. Shawn is now a dedicated volunteer and donor with Second Harvest Food Bank in Middle Tennessee and encourages everyone to give back this holiday season with Amazon.

Watch the full story:

Over one million people in Tennessee are at risk of hunger every day. And since the outbreak of COVID-19, Second Harvest has seen a 50% increase in need for their services. That's why Amazon is Delivering Smiles and giving back this holiday season by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Second Harvest to feed those hit the hardest this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local food bank or charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

File:Pornhub-logo.svg - Wikimedia Commons

A 2015 survey conducted by the National Union of Students found that 60% of respondents turned to porn to fill in the gaps in sex education. While 40% of those people said they learned a little, 75% of respondents said they felt porn created unrealistic expectations when it comes to sex. Some of the unrealistic expectations from porn can be dangerous. A study found that 88% of porn contained violence, and another study found that those who consumed porn were more likely to become sexually aggressive.

But now the thing that breaks those unrealistic expectations… might also be porn? Pornhub has launched a sex education section.

The adult website's first series is simply titled, "Pornhub Sex Ed" and contains 11 videos and is accessible through the Pornhub Sexual Wellness Center. The section also contains articles, some showing real anatomy and examples in order to bust myths people may have picked up on other portions of the website.

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A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.

I saw this poster today and I was going to just let it go, but then I kept feeling tugged to say something.

Melanie Cholish/Facebook

While this poster is great to bring attention to the issue of child trafficking, it is a "shocking" picture of a young girl tied up. It has that dark gritty feeling. I picture her in a basement tied to a dripping pipe.

While that sounds awful, it's important to know that trafficking children in the US is not all of that. I can't say it never is—I don't know. What I do know is most young trafficked children aren't sitting in a basement tied up. They have families, and someone—usually in their family—is trafficking them.

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While many of us have understandably let the challenges of 2020 get under our skin and bring us down, a young man from Florida was securing his place in the Guinness Book of World Records. Chris Nikic became the first person with Down syndrome to complete a full triathlon.

For the majority of people, a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride or a 26.2 mile run would be difficult on its own. The Ironman competition requires participants to complete them all in one grueling race. In a statement, Special Olympics Florida President and CEO Sherry Wheelock called Chris "an inspiration to all of us." She continued, "We are incredibly proud of Chris and the work he has put in to achieve this monumental goal. He's become a hero to athletes, fans, and people across Florida and around the world."

Nikic's journey to become an Ironman started off as a challenge far less lofty. He and his father, Nik, created the "1 percent better challenge." The idea was to keep Chris motivated during the pandemic and beyond. According to The Washington Post, the idea was for Chris to improve his workouts by one percent each day because he "doesn't like pain" but loves "food, videos games and my couch." The plan was to keep building strength and stamina while keeping his eye on the grand prize of completing a triathlon. Nik told the Panama City News Herald, "I was concerned because after high school and after graduation a lot of kids with Down syndrome become isolated and just start living a life of isolation. I said, 'Look, let's go find him something to get him back into the world and get him involved,' so we started looking around and we were fortunate that at the same time Special Olympics Florida started this triathlon program, and I thought, 'What a great way to get him started, get him in shape and get him to make some friends.'"


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