Ten University of Iowa law students spent much of election day in minority communities of Saint Louis, Missouri, as election monitors. Third-year law student Michelle Roddy, a native of Wichita, Kansas, says she stood outside for seven hours wearing a neon vest reading: “You have the right to vote. Ask me.”Roddy says they told voters to speak up if they encountered any problems and answered questions about the location of polling places and what I.D. would be required to cast a ballot. She explains the motivation for the trip.Roddy says they’d heard St. Louis had voting problems in 2000 and the students wanted to make sure everyone’s vote counted this time. She says the U-of-I students encountered nothing out-of-the-ordinary and no signs of illegal activity or discrimination. Roddy says poll workers were trained very well in handling provisional ballots and other issues, adding, the monitors weren’t needed at all. The trip was part of Election Protection, a project that’s training four-thousand students in U.S. law schools as election monitors.
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