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ESSENCE Voter Hotline

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Hands down, this presidential election has been the most unorthodox, and with less than 24 hours to vote and the possibility of foul play such as inaccurate counts and faulty touch screens, it's better to be safe than sorry. Even Oprah had to ring the alarm because her touch-screen selection of one Democratic presidential hopeful magically resulted in a final bid for a Republican candidate, so it doesn't hurt to implement extra measures of precaution to ensure that your voting rights are protected.

So if you're a voter who encounters a problem with casting your vote, do not leave your polling station. Instead, call a hotline to seek advice from legal experts who will be available to answer questions, concerns and explain your voting rights. Another hotline that provides legal assistance in case of a violation of voting rights is the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law 

(1-866-OUR-VOTE or 866-687-8683), which was created after President John F. Kennedy met with nearly 250 lawyers at the White House in 1963.

To simply report a problem, please contact the National Election Hotline sponsored by the NAACP National Voter Fund and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters at 1-866-MYVOTE1 (866-698-6831). Listen carefully to the prompts and choose the option to connect directly to a representative at your local Board of Election or simply leave a conscise, recorded message detailing your voting problem along with with your name, phone number, address and the time you called so that someone can investigate your issue and get back to you promptly. To file direct complaints to Washington, D.C., call the Voting Section of the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division at 202-307-2767 or 1-800-253-3931. Should you prefer to leave an anonymous fraud report, please contact 1-888-VOTE-TIP.

Now get ready to rock the vote!

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