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Civil rights complaints can be filed by voters intimidated or not given access to the ballot

Lester Graham
Michigan Radio

Some voters are concerned about harassment or intimidation when they go to vote. The Michigan Department of Civil Rights says it that happens to you, it could be a violation of your civil rights.

“They should immediately report the actual poll worker just immediately," said James White, the executive director of the department.

"Beyond that, if there's any possibility that they feel that they were harassed or, you know, they just really didn't feel good about the interaction, then they could reach out to us and we can open an investigation."

The Department of Civil Rights has a phone line for a complaint, 1-866-OUR-VOTE, or go online here.

He also says people with disabilities should find their polling place and voting machines or ballots are accessible. And they can get help with the ballot if they need it.

“They can bring someone with them to the polls to help them vote," White said. "They can seek assistance from poll workers. And there’s a lot of people that just don’t know that information."

He adds if you need specific help, contact a poll worker. If you are not helped, it could be considered discrimination and his department will investigate a complaint.

*Correction: An earlier version of this story published an incorrect number for the complaint hotline.

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Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Public from 1998-2010.