Rutgers Law students to offer free legal help to voters on Election Day
Published October 29, 2018 | Manny Faces
Creative Commons/public domain
Students from the Rutgers’ Constitutional Law Clinic, International Human Rights Clinic, and other legal clinics will be on hand for any Essex County resident who is turned down at the polls trying to vote on Election Day, November 6, 2018. In addition to providing these residents with legal advice, Rutgers Law students will accompany them to court and represent them in front of a Superior Court judge, all at no cost.
“The Voter Assistance Program has a nearly 100 percent effectiveness rate,” says Professor Penny Venetis, Director of the International Human Rights Clinic. “Students and faculty members have been successful in making sure that voters who are entitled to vote can cast their ballots on Election Day, using methods that ensure that their votes will be counted.”
County residents typically have two options when being turned away at the polls. They can vote with a provisional ballot (which, warns the school, may or may not be counted), or they may ask a judge for a court order which compels the polling place to accept that voter.
With an increased focus on this year’s midterm elections, students are eager to protect the rights of voters in their community. “Helping others exercise their right to vote is our civic duty,” said student Maryanne Abdelmesih (’20). “This is an invaluable opportunity to engage with members of the community and defend their constitutional right to vote.”