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Virginia's parties will have lawyers in the field on election day

The Washington Post reports: Top attorneys with Virginia's Democratic Party gathered Tuesday night to begin training 600 volunteer lawyers to fan across the state on Election Day to monitor the voting process and provide legal advice if irregularities emerge.

Party officials said the effort, dubbed the 2004 Voter Protection Program, is fueled by the lingering fear of a Florida-style election debacle that could threaten the integrity of the process. They plan to hold five or six more training sessions over the next week.

"We see our roles as supporting a system and cleaning up its inevitable mistakes," said Michael Signer, the voter protection coordinator for the state party. "We're giving voters the confidence that the system will work for them."

Signer said the attorneys will stand outside polling places with other campaign workers and offer advice to voters who want it. He said they will also be on hand to advise party leaders if voting machines malfunction or there are other problems. -- Parties to Post Lawyers at Polls (washingtonpost.com)