A New York Times story this week reported that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is planning to return the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division to its historical mission: protecting the civil rights of Americans. According to the article, the new attorney general is committed to "a revival of high-impact civil rights enforcement against policies...where statistics show that minorities fare disproportionately poorly," including housing, employment, lending practices, and voting rights. Read more
More than fifteen years after the passage of the National Voter Registration Act, few states are complying with the law’s requirement that voter registration services are provided to those who apply for public assistance. Though highly successful in the first two years the NVRA was implemented, in 1995-1996, registrations through public assistance agencies have steadily declined, and had fallen by 79 percent nationwide in 2007-2008. Project Vote and other voting rights organizations have been working to bring several states into compliance with this key provision of the NVRA, and—as a last resort—have been forced to bring lawsuits in several states to ensure that low-income public assistance clients have access to voter registration services as required by law. Read more
The message that democracy works best when all citizens participate – including those reintegrating into society after serving time for felony convictions - is finally being heard by the public, the media, and the U.S. Congress. Whether the message will affect the change needed to enfranchise the millions of Americans who currently cannot represent their communities in the democratic process, it is encouraging to find more citizens recognize the value in voting rights restoration and its impact on rehabilitation. Read more
With an estimated 23 million 18-29 year old citizens turning out to vote in the 2008 presidential election, it is easy to assume that young people today have overcome the stereotypical image of "apathetic youth." Yet, while the last few election cycles show an ever-growing interest in political engagement, young people are still underrepresented in the U.S. electorate--a problem that seems to have more to do with lack of access than lack of interest. Read more
The coming battles over voting rights will be the hardest in generations. Americans have struggled and died to expand access to the ballot, and we cannot allow their hard-fought progress to be rolled back now.
Now, as always, Project Vote is committed to holding the line on voting and civil rights, and to fighting the good fight for equality and inclusion for all Americans.