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Statement: Advocates, Volunteers Instrumental in Voter Turnout at PA Polls

Voters showed up in the face of voter intimidation,
threats of militias during Election 2020

ALLENTOWN, PA – Today, Pennsylvania voters, and particularly voters of color in Lehigh County, experienced numerous hurdles on Election Day, including instances of voter intimidation, the looming threat of militia violence, and political framing that suggested the state would cheat in the election. Advancement Project National Office lawyers were on standby, supporting election protection efforts and addressing issues as they arose.

“Advancement Project National Office is on the ground to ensure that every vote is counted,” explained Flavia Jimenez, former Senior Attorney and Project Director of Immigrant Justice, a press conference today with Lehigh Valley Stands Up. “We have seen people of color struggle, and still, they’re making their voices heard. People of color have faced unacceptable barriers, exacerbated by the pandemic, and they are still exercising their rights. Despite every single effort to silence them, voters of color have turned out in record numbers and we must ensure that their votes are counted.”

“It seems like something that we shouldn’t have to fight for,” Dr. Ashleigh Strange, Regional Organizer for Lehigh Valley Stands Up said to press conference attendees. “It seems like something that should just happen. Voters should be able to cast their ballots and assume that the way the country works ensures that every vote gets counted, but we have seen a lot of evidence that suggests there are powers at be who do not want to see every vote counted.”

In addition to Advancement Project National Office lawyers being on standby, volunteers were a big part of this effort, showing up at early voting sites on Election Day to canvas and help divert people to actual polling sites.

“Our movement has helped increase turnout, despite everything against us: the efforts to suppress, the lies about mail, the dismantling of the postal service,” said Judith Browne Dianis, Executive Director of Advancement Project National Office. “Turnout was great because our movement made it this way.”

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