Carl Blair Reflects on His Time as an Election Protection Legal Volunteer
My parents were both born in the early 1950s, well over a decade before the Voting Rights Act changed the very fabric of our democracy. So from an early age, they both witnessed how wrong it was to try and silence the voices of the American people. And as I grew up, they instilled in me the idea that protecting everyone’s right to vote is a moral obligation for each and every American. Now, this is a lesson I will make sure to teach my son as he grows up. Early in 2017, by pure chance, I happened across an internet posting from Texas Civil Rights Project asking for volunteers to help with research projects about voting rights in Texas. After reading more about the incredible work TCRP has been doing in Texas since 1990, I knew that TCRP shared my values of fighting to protect the rights of our fellow Texans. So I answered the call, and shortly after, I found myself knee-deep in the Texas Election Code researching and writing about complicated Texas voting rights issues. As the 2018 midterms approached, I spent as much of my spare time as I could volunteering. I eventually joined a TCRP Task Force that provided free legal services to voter registration organizations, helped train election protection volunteers, and on Election Day that November, I was given the amazing opportunity to help run the Election Protection call center.
Now anyone who has worked in Election Protection can tell you that while the days may be long, there is nothing else like it. Whether you’re providing assistance to people standing in line at the end of the day waiting to vote, or you’re answering calls in a call center, when that last voter casts their ballot or that final caller hangs up after you helped them, you will know deep down that you helped make a difference.
Earlier this year, I happened upon another posting from TCRP. This time, they were looking to hire an Election Protection attorney to join their staff. I jumped at that chance, and here I am today, asking you, my fellow legal professionals and supporters of democracy, to join us, and so many others, in this fight. None of us can do this alone, but if we all raise our voices together to protect the right to vote for all, then we can make a thunderous roar that nobody can ignore.
So join us, fight the good fight, and raise your voice for our democracy, and the rights of our fellow Texans.
Sign up to serve as a legal volunteer in the 2022 Midterm Election here.
Not a legal professional? Sign up to serve as a general poll monitor here.