Faith-based leaders teaching ways to address voter suppression

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A group called the Collaborative Clergy Network is training people on how to resist voter suppression and protect their vote in the election.

A Zoom meeting Monday night was part of its effort. The organizers want pastors and faith-based leaders informed on how people can address any problems that might show up.

“Voter intimidation can dissuade people from participating and scares people out of that, but we need to know and remember that our rights are protected under the law,” said Sandy Ovalle, with the Collaborative Clergy Network.

“There are 52 million Americans that have already cast their vote through early voting. And it’s close to 40 percent of the electorate," said The Rev. Adam Russell Taylor, the network’s president-elect. “So already this election is breaking records and it’s showing that there is a hunger, there is a thirst for people who want to exercise the right to vote, and that will actually make voting day a little bit more manageable, particularly in light of some of the additional challenges we’re facing.”

A couple Northeast Florida pastors were part of statewide call to action over the weekend.

Organizers shared six ways voter intimidation happens. They talked about:

  • Aggressive questioning around citizenship or qualifications to vote
  • Spreading misinformation
  • Harassing voters, like yelling or insults at people
  • Impersonating election officials
  • Displaying false voter fraud signs
  • Physically blocking access to polls

For any of those things, you should contact a poll worker and report what you saw happen.

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