Attacks on Voting Rights
Everyone deserves equal voice in a democracy. Despite this, corporations are aligning to undermine the voting rights of the communities fighting for change. Too often, it’s those most affected by pollution and environmental destruction that see their voices suppressed.
Instead of restricting rights, we need to be knocking down barriers and propping up the right to vote. So what’s going on?
A Brief History: The Voting Rights Act
A key victory of the civil rights movement, the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965 to prevent state and local governments from denying citizens the right to vote based on their race. It has played a key role in ensuring that everyone has an equal voice in American democracy.
But in 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a key piece of the Voting Rights Act that required states with a history of discrimination to get approval of any changes to voting rules that would result in racial discrimination.
This change has fueled an ongoing battle of voting rights, inclusion and equality in the U.S.
Rolling Back the Clock
In state after state, lawmakers are introducing policies that increase the barriers to voting and prevent citizens from exercising their right to vote. Their proposed changes include restrictions on the types of identification required to vote, making it harder for those with past felony convictions to vote, limitations on early voting and absentee voting, and restrictions on registering to vote.
In 2011 alone, more than 180 bills of this type were introduced in 41 states. Up to 5 million eligible American voters—particularly students, people of color, people with prior felony convictions, people in the military, the elderly and the poor—could be affected by these laws.
And it’s no accident that the groups targeted by these laws are groups that support stronger public health safeguards, workers rights, social and economic justice, women’s rights and environmental protection.
Standing Together for Voting Rights
Voting rights are essential to taking back our democracy and building a better future. We want a government that’s fair, inclusive and gives everyone a chance to participate. This means ensuring access to the right to vote and making sure those votes are counted fairly.
We stand together with civil rights leaders who have led the struggle for voting rights for decades, because equality and justice are part of our shared vision for the future.