Voter help hotline gets 10,000 calls about polling place issues, other concerns

PHOTO: Around a dozen legal experts volunteer with the Election Protections headquarters of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law to help field phone calls from voters who have questions in the lead up to the midterm elections.PlayJanet Weinstein/ABC News
WATCH Volunteers field calls about voting issues

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Volunteers at the Election Protection headquarters of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law have told ABC News they have been fielding non-stop calls from voters across the country over the past several weeks.

"As of around 11:30 a.m.[EST], we have received about 10,000 calls," Kristen Clarke, President of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law told ABC News on Election Day. She said the organization's 20 call centers opened at 6 a.m. [EST].

"This is absolutely our biggest midterm election protection effort ever," Clarke added.

Troubled voter registrations in Georgia. Voting machine problems in Texas. Suspicious mailers circulating in Florida. Confusion over ID requirements in North Dakota. These are some of the issues volunteers said they hear voters were facing when ABC News spoke with them in recent weeks.

"Thousands of people calling," said Laura Grace who manages the call center. "We've had twice as many calls so far than we had in 2014. We're seeing a big increase in voters that want help to vote."

Legal advocates at this nonpartisan nonprofit say the nationwide call volume is a telltale sign of just how much more complicated and confusing voting has become since dozens of states enacted new restrictions after the last midterms.

"We have more than 4,000 lawyers this election cycle helping answer phones," said Kristin Clarke, executive director of the Lawyers Committee.

Her advice to voters: "Don't give up. And don't walk out of that polling site without getting the help that you need."

The Election Protection hotline is 866-OUR-VOTE or text "Our Vote" to 97779.

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