The ACLU of Maryland is stepping up efforts to educate voters about their rights and will distribute 20,000 cards to advocacy groups, get-out-the-vote organizations, political parties and individuals.
A group called Election Integrity Maryland says it has found evidence of voter fraud and intends to train volunteers to challenge voters at the polls if they see what they believe to be irregularities.
Although the ACLU actions don’t specify a group that it is counteracting, its distribution of the Voter Empowerment Cards, the organization said, is aimed at informing voters of their rights if challenged. The cards are in English and Spanish.
Voters also can call an ACLU hotline, which will be staffed on Election Day with volunteers trained to assist with problems.
The ACLU also has attorneys prepared to go to court to ensure that voters have their rights protected, said Amy Cruice, ACLU of Maryland’s election protection campaign director.
Election Integrity Maryland President Cathy Kelleher said it has offered training to volunteers to serve as poll watchers to protect the integrity of the voting process.
Kelleher couldn’t be reached for comment by deadline.
Election Integrity Maryland is an offshoot of a tea party organization in Texas called True the Vote, which has been accused of efforts to disenfranchise voters in predominantly minority communities and of voter harassment.
“The ACLU seeks to protect every Maryland voter from the misinformation and intimidation that causes some people to stay home on Election Day and leads to cynicism in our electoral process,” Cruice said.