Columbia Law Students Make An IMPACT

Columbia Law Students Making An IMPACT For Election Protection On November 4

Student Organization Fielding More Than 100 Volunteers

Part of Nation-Wide Effort to Ensure a Smooth Day at the Polls

Press contact: Erin St. John Kelly [email protected] 212-854-1787/Cell: 646-646-284-8549/Public Affairs Office: 212-854-1787
November 3, 2008 (NEW YORK) – As the nation prepares for an historic Election Day, Columbia Law School students are doing their part to ensure that voters are able to participate in a fair and democratic process here in New York and across the country. IMPACT, a non-partisan student-affiliate of the national Election Protection coalition, will field more than 100 volunteers in their efforts to ensure a fair election on November 4.

"On Tuesday, more than 100 Columbia Law students will take a break from learning the law to promote democracy," said Brendon Fleming, president of the Columbia IMPACT chapter. "Election officials are expecting unprecedented turnout tomorrow, including millions of new voters. IMPACT is here to help ensure that voters will be able to have a voice and cast their ballots in this historic election."

On October 26, Columbia hosted more than 200 lawyers, paralegals, and law students for an in-depth training on voter rights and election protection. Participants in the training – including a large contingent of Columbia Law students – will take to the streets on November 4, visiting polling locations throughout New York. Students will provide on-the-ground assistance and trouble shooting for voters and poll workers alike, helping to ensure a smooth voting process even with the unprecedented turnout and the demands it is expected to place on New York's voting system.

In addition, several students will spend the day working in the national Election Protection call centers hosted by several New York law firms. Students will field calls from voters and poll workers across the nation, providing real-time assistance to ensure voters' rights are respected at their polling places and as they cast their ballots. Voters or poll workers experiencing problems can reach live assistance from a team of trained election experts and volunteers by calling 1-(866) OUR-VOTE.

To read more about IMPACT at Columbia Law School, click here.

IMPACT is a non-partisan coalition of law students working with Election Protection and Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. As part of our ongoing efforts to ensure that traditionally disenfranchised communities are able to fully participate in the electoral process, we train and mobilize law students from across the country to poll monitor in their districts on Election Day. IMPACT is based at Columbia Law School, where it is run by its National Board, with guidance from an Alumni Board and an Advisory Board. For more information on the Columbia chapter, please contact Kathleen Vermazen at 415-305-1345 or [email protected] or Brendon Fleming (who will be on the ground in Queens at various polling locations) at 585-729-0157.

Columbia Law School, founded in 1858, stands at the forefront of legal education and of the law in a global society. Columbia Law School joins traditional strengths in international and comparative law, constitutional law, administrative law, business law and human rights law with pioneering work in the areas of intellectual property, digital technology, sexuality and gender, and criminal law.