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Voting Rights Groups Sue Georgia for Neglecting Voting Rights of Low-Income Residents E-mail

Lawsuit filed today to force state public assistance offices to comply with the National Voter Registration Act

June 6, 2011                                                                        

ATLANTA, GA. –A coalition of voting rights groups filed suit today against Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp and Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Human Services (DHS) Clyde J. Reese III to remedy the State of Georgia’s failure to provide voter registration services at state public assistance offices, as required by the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA).

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the Georgia State Conference of the NAACP (Georgia NAACP) and the Coalition for the Peoples’ Agenda (Peoples’ Agenda). The plaintiffs are represented by lawyers from Project Vote, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Dēmos, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the NAACP, and the law firm Dechert LLP.

“The State of Georgia has been ignoring its responsibilities under the NVRA for too many years,” said Nicole Zeitler, director of the Public Agency Voter Registration program at Project Vote. “The result is that thousands of low-income Georgians have been denied the opportunity to register to vote.”

Project Vote and ACLU Sue to Block Suppresive Florida Bill E-mail

Today Project Vote is pleased to join the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida (ACLUFL) in filing a lawsuit in federal court in Miami to block implementation of damaging new changes to Florida's election law until those changes can be reviewed and examined by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) or the U. S District Court for the District of Columbia, as required by the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The law at issue, HB 1355, would set onerous requirements, unreasonable deadlines, and stiff penalties that would severely hamper the ability of community organizations to conduct voter registration drives. It also prevents voters from changing address or updating their information at the polling place when they vote, which is now permitted, and cuts in half the number of early voting days provided under current law.

In a press release sent today by the ACLU, Project Vote Director of Advocacy Estelle Rogers, co-counsel in the case, said "Voter registration drives have been indispensable in expanding the Florida electorate, particularly to low income people and racial minorities. HB 1355, with its onerous rules and stiff penalties, makes it too risky for most groups—like civic organizations and church groups—to run a drive in Florida, and thousands of eligible voters will be left out as a result."

Project Vote Issues Statement on TX Voter ID Law E-mail

May 27, 2011

This morning, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed SB 14, which will institute strict photo-ID requirements for anyone wishing to vote in the state. Project Vote Executive Director Michael Slater issued the following statement in response:

Presented under the guise of addressing the mythical threat of “voter impersonation,” the real effect and intent of this legislation will be to disenfranchise tens of thousands of Texas voters, particularly young voters, seniors, and low-income residents.

SB 14 requires every voter to present a specific form of Texas identification, from a very limited list of options, including a driver’s license, a state ID card, a military ID, or other government issued photo identification. While this may sound like a reasonable requirement in a society that requires photo ID for routine transactions, we must remember that voting is a right, not a privilege. Setting up new hurdles that otherwise eligible voters must jump on their way to vote is a severe blow to our democracy.

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