FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Patrick Christmas
Senior Policy Analyst
(215) 557-3600, ext. 114
(919) 423-7281 (cell)
SEVENTY LAUNCHES NEW 1-855-SEVENTY HOTLINE
Will Offer Year-Round Customer Service on Elections and Voting
PHILADELPHIA – September 2, 2014 – The Committee of Seventy, Philadelphia’s non-partisan government watchdog, launched a new 1-855-SEVENTY hotline today to answer questions about elections and voting from all voters in Southeast Pennsylvania. The hotline will be open year-round on weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“Reaching voters as early as possible is critical,” stressed Patrick Christmas, Senior Policy Analyst for Seventy. “We’ve found that many issues that come up on Election Day can be avoided by a quick phone call beforehand. Voters should be as prepared as possible when they enter the voting booth. Seventy’s trained non-partisan volunteers are ready to help.”
Christmas also pointed out that, although information about candidates and voting procedures is available online, not all voters have easy access to the internet. “The 1-855-SEVENTY hotline is available for every voter in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties,” he said. “But one of our priorities is to alert people who may have more difficulty getting access to trustworthy information and who risk being disfranchised without it.
According to Christmas, Seventy decided to launch a year-round hotline in response to the growing number of voters’ questions during periods other than on or around Election Day. The most common questions involve the voter registration process, polling place locations, candidates’ positions on issues, city ballot questions, and identification required for first-time voters.
In addition to helping individual voters, Seventy plans to use feedback from callers to highlight systemic issues in the election system. “Some of the steps voters must follow in order to vote aren’t so easy,” Christmas stated. “We’ll be paying attention to which parts of the process are causing voters the most difficulty and advising election officials along the way.”
“The November 4 governor’s race is a major election for all Pennsylvanians,” Christmas concluded. “And in Philadelphia, the 2015 Mayor and City Council’s races are just around the bend. Our 1-855-SEVENTY hotline is a one-stop resource that voters can turn to and get all the information they need to cast a ballot.”
The Committee of Seventy is a non-partisan government watchdog fighting for better government citizens can trust. For more information, see www.seventy.org.