Coalition Empowers New Americans to Make Their Voices Heard at the Polls

October 31, 2018

COLUMBUS–During a telephonic town hall meeting Tuesday, voting rights experts from All Voting is Local, the Council on American Islamic Relations and Community Refugee and Immigration Services educated new citizens about the electoral process — part of broader advocacy to empower Ohio voters who speak Arabic, Chinese, Nepalese, Somali and Spanish.

Advocates notified by phone or text an estimated 30,000 new American voters to participate in the telephone town hall. The call offered an opportunity for voters to ask questions about the voting process and to learn about the coalition’s effort to recruit multilingual poll workers to staff polling places on Nov. 6.

“We know new American voters are among the most enthusiastic — they’re eager to participate and contribute their voices to our democracy, but they may have questions about how it all works,” said Mike Bricker, Ohio State Director for All Voting is Local. “Voter education is foundational to a sound electoral process. We want to be certain that all voters have the information they need to access the ballot, regardless of where they are from or the language they speak.”

“Voting is the most important duty of a citizen,” said Usjid Hameed, public affairs coordinator for CAIR-Columbus and a Puffin Democracy Fellow with the Andrew Goodman Foundation. “We need to do our part as community members and organizations to ensure that everyone has the tools and resources they need to participate in our democracy. Our society is at its best when everyone has their voice heard.”

All Voting is Local and CAIR have worked to recruit poll workers throughout Ohio, part of a campaign to tackle the nationwide shortage of poll workers. The campaign, “Be the Difference, Be a Poll Worker” has used billboards, print, digital and radio ads in various languages to ensure polling places throughout Ohio are staffed with enough trained workers. Since September, organizers have recruited 461 poll workers in Ohio.

To learn more about the poll worker recruitment effort please visit,


All Voting is Local fights for the right to vote through a unique combination of data-driven organizing, advocacy and communications. It is a collaborative campaign housed at The Leadership Conference Education Fund, in conjunction with Access Democracy; the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation; the American Constitution Society; the Campaign Legal Center; and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.