We are just days away from this year’s presidential election in which it is very likely the results will be contested and the final results will not be determined on election night. It’s more important than ever that we know what to do to protect our rights at polling locations, at protests, and how to respond to increased police or ICE presence in our communities. We are sharing these resources with you in the hopes that you will share with your networks.
We know that the best way to protect each other is through community organizing. The best community protection is preparation – be sure to connect with your local community organizations and share these resources within your networks.
If you will be voting in person at your polling location on Tuesday, here are resources from ACLU (Source: ACLU Voting Rights)
- If you are questioned about your political beliefs by anyone you do not need to respond.
- If you are in line to vote and polls close, you have a right to stay in line and cast your vote.
- If you make a mistake on your ballot, you have the right to request a new one.
- If the machines are down at your polling place, you have the right to a paper ballot.
- The following hotlines are available for any emergency needs:
- English: 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)
- Spanish: 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (1-866-839-8682)
- Arabic: 1-844-YALLA-US (1-844-925-5287)
- Bengali, Cantonese, Hindi, Urdu, Korean, Mandarin, Tagalog, or Vietnamese: 1-888-274-8683
If you will be participating in protests, here are resources from the National Lawyer’s Guild (NLG) and from New Jersey Consortium for Immigrant Children
- If you are stopped by a law enforcement officer, always ask: “Am I detained?”
- If the answer is “Yes” then you have a right to remain silent.
- If the answer is “No” then you have a right to leave.
- Once you are detained, you have an automatic right to remain silent.
- While detained, you also have a right to a lawyer.
- If you are pulled over on your way from a protest, you have a right to refuse a search. However:
- You may be ordered from your vehicle.
- Upon reasonable suspicion, your vehicle may be searched for weapons.
- Upon probable cause, your entire vehicle may be seized and searched.
If ICE is at your door or in your community, see our resource page on how to respond. Here are the most important things to remember:
The DIRE hotline number is 1-888-DIRE-SOS or 1-888-347-3767.
MigraWatch Deportation Defense hotline: The deportation defense hotline from United We Dream is 1-844-363-1423 – use it if you witness an I.C.E. Raid or any other immigration activity in your community.
These unprecedented times, with a second wave of the pandemic, an economic downturn, and anti-immigrant national rhetoric, have asked a lot of us, especially those who have lost loved ones due to COVID19. We know this year’s election will look different from years past with a great deal of uncertainty and the likelihood of contested results. At the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice, we are checking in with our partners and members to create spaces of support, and we hope you can do the same with your family, friends, and loved ones in the next days and weeks.
Whatever the outcomes of the election, we will continue fighting for a more fair and welcoming state for everyone who lives here.
New Jersey Alliance For Immigrant Justice
Maneesha Kelkar, Interim Director
Katy Sastre, Outreach Coordinator
Hera Mir, Communications and Operations Coordinator