EOLDN Logo

Volunteer Login

FAQ

General

The Election Official Legal Defense Network (EOLDN) connects election officials in need of advice or assistance with licensed, qualified, pro bono attorneys and with communications professionals. EOLDN is a project of the nonpartisan, nonprofit Center for Election Innovation & Research.

In the wake of the 2020 election and its aftermath, election officials have been harassed, intimidated, and threatened with violence. State legislatures have considered and enacted new election laws that subject election officials to criminal penalties for performing their professional duties. EOLDN was created to provide legal and communications support for these referees of democracy.

You can contact EOLDN by calling our hotline at (877) 313-5210 or by sending an email to help@EOLDN.org
EOLDN’s matching services are available to all current and former U.S. election officials, including election administrators and poll workers, regardless of political affiliation.
 

To be eligible, election officials either must be (or have been) a recognized governmental election authority or acting under the supervision of a recognized governmental election authority. Anyone acting under the supervision of a political party (e.g., a partisan poll watcher) is not eligible.

EOLDN matches election officials with lawyers to assist officials with addressing issues related to their work on elections or election administration. This includes any efforts to undermine officials’ job duties or to threaten or harass officials.
Election officials in need of legal assistance should complete EOLDN’s Request Form. The form asks for some information about you and the nature of your request, which helps us match you with a lawyer in the Network. Completing the form should take about 5-10 minutes. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact us at help@EOLDN.org.

You will receive a confirmation email that EOLDN has your request. In that email, we also will ask you to indicate when you’re available for an initial meeting with an EOLDN-matched attorney. To best serve you, we ask you to respond as soon as possible to our emails and/or calls during the lawyer matching process. If EOLDN is unable to get in touch with you within 15 business days, we will notify you that your request will be marked “inactive” and EOLDN will no longer attempt to contact you. You may reactivate your request by contacting EOLDN or submitting another request form.

If you are ineligible for EOLDN’s matching services, we encourage you to contact your local legal services program or bar association, or visit the American Bar Association website or lawhelp.org for more information about available resources.

EOLDN (and its parent organization, CEIR) does not provide legal services and is unable to provide advice on legal questions. However, we are happy to help match you with an EOLDN attorney as quickly as possible.

EOLDN’s communications support is available to current U.S. election officials regardless of political affiliation. 

To be eligible, election officials either must be a recognized governmental election authority or act under the supervision of a recognized governmental election authority. Anyone acting under the supervision of a political party (e.g., a partisan poll watcher) is not eligible.

EOLDN helps election officials address issues related to elections or election administration on behalf of their office or agency. Communications support could include ongoing communication strategy support during an election; message development, for example to respond to misinformation or an attack on election integrity; or rapid response and media relations.  

Election officials in need of communications support should complete EOLDN’s Request Form. The form asks for some information about you and the nature of your request. No special information is required, and the form should take about 5-10 minutes to complete.

You will receive a confirmation email that EOLDN has your request. In that email, we also will provide you with the next steps for setting up the initial meeting with the communications professional.  

To best serve you, we ask you to respond as soon as possible to our emails and/or calls during the matching process. If EOLDN is unable to get in touch with you within 15 business days, we will notify you that your request will be marked “inactive” and EOLDN will no longer attempt to contact you. You may reactivate your request by contacting EOLDN or submitting another request form.

Pro Bono Attorneys & Other Volunteers

We are currently recruiting licensed attorneys as volunteers (attorneys must adhere to the Rules for Participating Lawyers). Interested attorneys are encouraged to complete our attorney sign up form.

EOLDN does not perform the role of government counsel, and election officials generally receive support from government counsel when faced with legal challenges. But, if a government attorney has a conflict of interest, or is powerless to help, EOLDN can be a resource for an election worker.

Though some requests may deal with new territory, most have involved one or more of the following:   

    • Understanding how to deal with harassment and threats
    • Sending cease and desist letters or filing for a restraining order
    • Attempts to undermine job duties and/or dealing with retaliation or intimidation at work
    • Other local officials providing advice or instruction (legal or otherwise) that may be in conflict with the election official’s legal duties
    • General consultation  

Yes. Our goal is to match election officials with attorneys who have the right experience for their situation.

While election law experience can be valuable, many election official requests won’t require election law expertise. Your experience could be of value for potential clients as election officials face a variety of issues (e.g., issues pertaining to threats/harassment, interference with official duties, etc.). 

Other practice areas that can be useful in dealing with requests from election officials include the following: 

  • Employment Law 
  • Defamation/Freedom of Expression/Media Law  
  • General Litigation 
  • Criminal Defense  
  • Harassment/Bullying/Stalking  

 

Experience obtaining protective orders, restraining orders, and handling injunctions could be beneficial as well.  

Our request process allows attorneys to review request details before accepting or declining, and attorneys have the right to reject a request.

Once a request is accepted, we encourage you to reach out to EOLDN if you feel assistance from another attorney is needed or if you would like to speak with an EOLDN specialist. 

We anticipate having additional volunteer opportunities in the future. If you are a non-practicing or retired lawyer, paralegal, or law student, or you are interested in helping in another way, please fill out this volunteer form.
Yes, any attorney interested in providing pro bono services with EOLDN must carry professional liability insurance in an amount not less than $250,000 per claim/$500,000 aggregate.
No, all participating lawyers must meet EOLDN’s insurance requirement. However, we are exploring ways we may be able to help attorneys meet this requirement. In the meantime, we still encourage you to complete our attorney sign up form. If any changes are made to EOLDN’s requirement, or we identify a way to help you acquire supplemental insurance, we will notify you.
EOLDN requires participating lawyers to be engaged either full or part time in the private practice of law as their primary occupation. EOLDN defers to the lawyer’s assessment of their own situation to determine whether they are engaged in the practice of law consistent with our requirement.

Support EOLDN

The Election Official Legal Defense Network (EOLDN) is a project of the nonpartisan, nonprofit Center for Election Innovation & Research (CEIR). CEIR is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (EIN: 81-3815137) that works to restore trust in the American election system and promote election procedures that encourage participation while ensuring election integrity and security. If you would like to support CEIR’s work, including EOLDN, please visit our donations page at https://electioninnovation.org/donate/.

Yes. We are actively building our resource library for EOLDN and are happy to accept additional resources. You can email resources to help@eoldn.org. We will review submitted resources and share them as appropriate.