Today, leaders from some of the nation’s top law firms announced their support for the Election Protection program to safeguard voting rights of all Americans across the country on Election Day. More than 4000 lawyers and close to 100 of the nation’s top law firms and corporate legal departments will be involved in the Election Protection program, led by the national Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, to help provide support for voters this election season.“When John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Robert F. Kennedy issued a telegram summonsing 244 private attorneys to the White House on June 21, 1963, they did so recognizing the power of attorneys to help ensure equal justice under the law,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which leads the Election Protection program. “Kennedy’s activation of the private bar in 1963 gave rise to the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law which was formed with the singular goal of galvanizing the private bar around the fight for racial justice. Today, Election Protection stands as one of the most powerful examples of modern day mobilization of the private bar in service of protecting the most sacred right in our democracy – the right to vote.”
Election Protection is the country’s largest and longest-running non-partisan voter protection program and consistently has been a part of firms’ pro bono programs since 2004. Partners, associates and other legal staff volunteer for the national voter hotline and legal field programs that serve voters across the country. In addition, law firms host numerous 866-OUR-VOTE hotline call centers, field command offices and volunteer trainings. The pro bono support provided by law firms provides critical support for Election Protection and is germane to its success.
“About a dozen Venable lawyers, from many of our offices throughout the country, are traveling to Ohio to serve as nonpartisan poll monitors under the training and direction of our pro bono partner, The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law,” said William Coston, partner, Venable LLP. “This is the least we can do to insure that all eligible voters are allowed to vote if they make the effort to go to their polling stations. Lawyers have a special duty and privilege to help voters exercise their rights to pick their leaders.”
“Dorsey has been involved with the Election Protection project for over a decade and hosts a national call center,” said Partner Jonathan Van Horn with Dorsey & Whitney LLP. “It is a privilege to work alongside a group of talented volunteers committed to ensuring that every eligible American wishing to cast a ballot has the opportunity to do so. This group’s skill and dedication to protecting the franchise is inspiring. A few years ago, I assisted a first-time voter over several hours and several phone calls. His grandmother later sent me note that says it all: ‘Hallelujah, he was finally allowed to cast his vote.’”
“We are proud to have partnered with the Election Protection program for over a decade, and we are honored to contribute again this fall to the ever-important mission of protecting the right to vote for all Americans,” said John C. Ericson, partner at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP. “This year, over 230 committed volunteers at our call center will field calls from a number of states across the country in a nationwide effort to support the American voter.”
“Protecting voting rights is one of the most important tasks lawyers can perform,” said Judy Barrasso and George Freeman, partners with Barrasso Usdin Kupperman Freeman & Sarver, LLC. “The right to vote is fundamental in our system; without it, our democracy cannot last. Working with the Election Protection Program to ensure every registered voter can freely and fully participate in the election process is a worthy effort, one that will have an important impact on society.”
To learn more about participating in Election Protection, the nation’s largest non-partisan voter protection program led by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the 866-OUR-VOTE hotline, visit www.866ourvote.org. For more information about the Lawyers’ Committee or donating to the voter protection efforts, visit www.lawyerscommittee.org.
###The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. Now in its 55th year, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is continuing its quest to “Move America Toward Justice.” The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and voting rights.