Showing posts tagged with: "Voting Rights"

MLK: “Give Us the Ballot” . January 19, 2015

On May 17, 1957 in Washington, DC, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “Give Us the Ballot” address. It was three years after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down “separate but equal” in their Brown v. Board of Education decision and eight years before the Voting Rights Act would become law in 1965. “And so our most urgent... read more

The State of Felon Disenfranchisement in 2013 . December 27, 2013

Earlier this year, the Sentencing Project gave an update on felon disenfranchisement in the United States. Currently, 5.85 million Americans are prohibited from voting due to laws that disenfranchise citizens convicted of felony offenses. Only two states–Maine and Vermont–do not restrict the voting rights of anyone with a felony conviction,... read more

Voter Registration Proof of Citizenship Overturned in Arizona . June 20, 2013

On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that Arizona may not require documentary proof of citizenship from people seeking to vote in federal elections. (Read the court opinion.) During oral argument in Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Justice Sotomayor’s first question was about an amicus brief signed by Nonprofit VOTE and other community-based... read more

Upcoming Webinar: Get Ready for Election Day . October 17, 2012

November 6th is almost here, but there’s still plenty your organization can do before then! Get Ready for Election Day Thursday October 25th, 2:00-3:00pm Eastern The final days before Election Day and Election Day itself are crucial to your voter engagement efforts. Find out how your nonprofit can prepare for this final push. Our discussion... read more

Ex-Offender Turnout In Iowa . March 8, 2012

A recent study examines the effects of a 2005 Executive Order in Iowa that automatically restored voting rights to former felons who had completed their sentence. Before 2005, persons with felony convictions had to apply to the Governor to have their voting rights restored. Since the Executive Order was enacted, an estimated 100,000 Iowa ex-felons... read more

February Webinar Materials . February 24, 2012

Missed yesterday’s webinar, States Move to Restrict Voting: What Your Nonprofit Can Do to Defend the Right to Vote? No problem!Watch the webinar on our YouTube channel. If you subscribe to our channel, you’ll be notified whenever new content is posted. You can also download the PowerPoint presentation and the audio portion of the presentation,... read more

Register Now for Thursday’s Webinar . February 21, 2012

There’s still time to register for this week’s webinar! States Move to Restrict Voting: How Nonprofits Can Defend the Right to VoteThursday February 23rd, 2:00-3:00pm Eastern Last year there was an unprecedented nationwide effort to pass legislation that creates voter registration barriers and limits access to the polls. Unfortunately,... read more

February Webinar: Defending the Right to Vote . February 10, 2012

Register now for our February 2012 webinar! States Move to Restrict Voting: How Nonprofits Can Defend the Right to VoteThursday February 23rd, 2:00-3:00pm Eastern Last year there was an unprecedented nationwide effort to pass legislation that creates voter registration barriers and limits access to the polls. Unfortunately, that effort continues... read more

NAACP Reports on "Block the Vote" Efforts . February 7, 2012

The NAACP recently produced a report, “Defending Democracy: Confronting Modern Barriers to Voting Rights in America,” that contextualizes the emergence of recent “block the vote” measures and explains their potential effects. The report examines a slew of legislative proposals, ballot initiatives, and voting laws that have been... read more

2011 Webinar Rewind . January 4, 2012

In 2011 we hosted an array of expert presenters on a variety of voter engagement and participation topics. Before we announce our 2012 webinar series schedule, we wanted to review some of last year’s top webinars:We shared groundbreaking new research from the 2010 election that documented the impact nonprofits have when they talk to their... read more

Texas Maps on Trial . December 16, 2011

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal from Texas Republicans over whether a panel of federal judges acted properly when it replaced the state legislature’s congressional map with its own. The judges’ map was the result of a lawsuit that claimed the legislature-drawn map did not give adequate opportunity for minority groups... read more

Voter ID Passes in Mississippi . November 10, 2011

On Tuesday, Mississippi voters passed a constitutional amendment that requires voters to show government issued photo identification in order to vote. The initiative includes provisions for free photo IDs, but as with all photo ID laws, the impact on voters will depend on implementation. Although many of the states that passed voter ID laws this year... read more

Voting Rights Victory in Maine . November 9, 2011

We’ll have a more complete summary of 2011 election results later, but we just couldn’t wait to share Maine’s victory! Yesterday, Maine voters decided to restore Election Day Registration (EDR)–leaving an almost 40 year tradition unbroken. Sixty percent of voters supported EDR, and have made it possible for future voters to register... read more

October Webinar Recap . November 1, 2011

Thank you to everyone who joined last Thursday’s webinar, States Move to Restrict Voting: How Nonprofits Can Protect the Right to Vote. And a special thanks to Megan Donovan and Ellis Jacobs for sharing their expertise with us. The presentation and associated materials are now available: Watch the presentation online (with audio) or download... read more

Register Now for Thursday’s Webinar . October 25, 2011

There’s still time to register for this week’s webinar on recent election law changes! States Move to Restrict Voting – How Nonprofits Can Defend the Right to VoteThursday October 27th, 2:00-3:00pm Eastern 2011 has seen an unprecedented nationwide effort to pass legislation that creates voter registration barriers and limits access... read more

New Hurdles: States Restrict Voting Rights . October 19, 2011

Earlier this month, the Brennan Center published a new report on “Voting Law Changes in 2012” that details and analyzes the bills that have been proposed and passed since the beginning of this year. Most have made it much more difficult for citizens to both register and vote. Restrictions have come in many forms, including:Photo ID requirements.... read more

October Webinar: Defending the Right to Vote . October 12, 2011

Our October webinar will address new election laws that make it difficult for countless voters to register and cast their ballot. Many nonprofits are now wondering how to best help their clients participate under the new rules, but are also seeking information on how they can fight back against restrictive voting laws. States Move to Restrict Voting... read more

Saudi Women to Vote in 2015 . September 26, 2011

Yesterday, Saudi Arabia’s king granted women the right to vote and run for office in future municipal elections. Although the change is welcomed by many activists, concerns still remain. The new law will not be relevant until the next election cycle in 2015. (Current municipal elections are scheduled for this Thursday.) And while senior religious... read more

Why We Should Restore Ex-offender Voting Rights . August 12, 2011

The Florida Parole Commission released a new study showing that an ex-offender whose civil rights have been restored is much less likely to return to prison than others in the released prisoner population. Of the 30,672 former Florida felons that had their voting rights restored in 2009 and 2010, about 11% ended up back in custody. The recidivism rate... read more

Celebrating the Americans with Disabilities Act . July 27, 2011

Yesterday was the 21st anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, guaranteeing equal opportunity for people with disabilities in public accommodations, commercial facilities, employment, transportation, state and local government services and telecommunications. According to the Census Bureau, 36 million Americans have a disability,... read more

Rx Democracy! Weighs in on Florida Legislation . May 10, 2011

Dr. Rishi Manchanda, founder of our partner Rx Democracy! recently responded to proposed legislation in Florida (House Bill 1355–which has been passed–and Senate Bill 2086) and explained why all medical professionals should take note. In addition to making it more difficult for “college students, military personnel, low-income and... read more

Pushing for EDR in New Jersey . April 25, 2011

Last week the Rutgers Law School-Newark Constitutional Litigation Clinic filed a suit challenging New Jersey’s 21-day advance voter registration requirement. The suit claims that advanced registration is an obsolete and undue burden on the constitutional right to vote, particularly with the rise of modern technology and New Jersey’s Statewide... read more

Iowa Limits Felon Voting Rights (Again) . January 21, 2011

This week, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad issued executive order 70, rescinding former Governor Tom Vilsack’s 2005 order that automatically restored voting rights to felons who had served their jail time. Since Governor Vilsack’s executive order was enacted, an estimated 100,000 Iowa ex-felons have had their voting rights restored. However,... read more

Enforcing the Motor-Voter Law . August 10, 2010

The 1993 National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) was designed to increase participation in federal elections. As a provision, state motor vehicle offices began offering clients the opportunity to register to vote, and the law became widely known as the motor-voter law. However, the law also requires public assistance offices to proactively register... read more

Bias Older, Higher Income Voters – It’s In the Mail . December 5, 2009

Vote by Mail is growing. It’s convenient for some. It costs less. But is it good for democracy? Or is it newest form voter disenfranchisement plan – overrepresenting the votes of older wealthier voters and underrepresenting younger and lower income voters. The same bias found in registration laws, felon disenfranchisement, vote... read more

English-only registrations creates barriers for voters . November 2, 2009

(Photo- Iowa Independent)In March of 2008, an Iowa state court ruled that providing non-English voter registration forms to voters was a violation of a state law which required English to be the “official language” of the state. The IA Secretary of State’s office removed all non-English registration forms from its website, and as a... read more

Indiana strikes down voter ID law . September 18, 2009

From the NY Times- An Indiana law requiring voters to show identification, declared constitutional by the United States Supreme Court just last year, was struck down Thursday by a state appellate court. The state court said the law violated the Indiana Constitution by not treating all voters equally. The major difference between the state court decision... read more

A 50 State Standard for Election Reform . June 27, 2009

The Supreme Court left standing a key provision of the Voting Rights Act requiring some states to get “pre-clearance” for any election changes. (Read more). Isn’t it time not to wait for the next court decision but act now to come up with solutions that apply to all 50 states? At the top of the list for the Nonprofit Voter Engagement... read more

Supreme Court votes not to strike down Section 5 of VRA . June 24, 2009

(Photo- racewire.com): The Supreme Court on June 22nd voted nearly unanimously not to strike down Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act at this time. The provision requires certain Southern states with a history of racial discrimination to obtain federal approval before making changes to local election laws or voting districts. The Supreme Courts ruling... read more

Justices, 5-4, Set Limit on Sweep of Voting Law . March 10, 2009

Only election districts in which minorities make up at least half of the voting-age population are entitled to the protections of a part of the Voting Rights Act that seeks to ensure and preserve minority voting power, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday (NY Times, 3.09.2009). read more