American Civil Rights Union v. Philadelphia City Commissioners

So-called “election integrity” group the American Civil Rights Union (ACRU) is suing the City Commissioners of Philadelphia, asserting that the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) and the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) require them to strike voters incarcerated for a felony from the voter rolls.

The case was filed in April 2016, and subsequently dismissed in September 2016 by Judge C. Darnell Jones, II, of the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. ACRU appealed to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals based in Philadelphia.

Project Vote and partners filed an amicus brief in February 2017, strongly refuting ACRU’s claims. Pennsylvania state law does not strip people with felony convictions of their right to stay registered to vote. Pennsylvania law, in fact, permits individuals convicted of a felony to vote immediately upon release from incarceration, without having to re-register, and indeed permits them to register from prison if they are going to be released before the next election. The NVRA and HAVA explicitly defer to state law on the question of the effect of criminal conviction on voter registration and eligibility, and do not require the Commissioners to disregard clearly established state law, Hogan Lovells argues in the brief.

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Project Vote and Demos Call to Stop Unlawful Voter Purge in Philadelphia

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Project Vote and Demos filed and amicus brief to stop an unlawful voter purge in Philadelphia. Read more

Demos and Project Vote team with Hogan Lovells to Help Prevent Unlawful Voter Purge in Philadelphia

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Project Vote and partners filed an amicus brief, to help stop an illegal purge of Philadelphia voters with past felony convictions. Read more

ACRU v. Philadelphia City Commissioners: Amicus Brief

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Amicus brief filed by Project Vote and Demos urged a federal appeals court to uphold a decision dismissing an attempt by ACRU to force an illegal voter purge. Read more