New York Hot-Line Helps Voters

The conference room of a Manhattan law firm was turned into an election day call center today.

It's part of a national network of legal experts volunteering as voting-rights advisers. The new Election Day was tradition forged in the post-2000 political landscape.

After the 2000 presidential election dispute, legal and civil-rights groups organized an effort called the Election Protection Coalition.

About 30 volunteer lawyers spent this morning fielding calls in the Manhattan conference room at Kirkland & Ellis about voting problems. A woman in Kansas City, Missouri, was told she needed a utility bill to vote. A registered voter in Wisconsin was told she wasn't on the voting rolls, though she had brought her registration card.

The lawyers looked up answers, logged complaints and pressed to resolve voting problems phoned in to 866-OUR-VOTE from ten Mid-Atlantic, Northeastern and Midwestern states.