How CREDO is fighting for voting rights

CREDO fight for the right to vote

Thanks to the Supreme Court’s disastrous 2013 Shelby County vs. Holder decision, which gutted the Voting Rights Act by rendering Section 5 inoperable, 2016 will be the first presidential election in more than 50 years in which voters don’t have the full protections of the Voting Rights Act.

Restoring the Voting Rights Act would only require a simple fix from Congress, but Republicans have refused to hold hearings or allow any votes on either of the currently pending bills that would protect Americans from discriminatory voter suppression laws.

CREDO has been fighting for years to protect and expand voting rights. We’ve donated more than $4.6 million to groups that work to defend voting rights over the years, and millions more to groups that work to encourage civic participation.

Here are just a few of our current voting rights campaigns:

1. Pressuring Speaker Paul Ryan to call a vote on the Voting Rights Amendment Act: Speaker of the House Paul Ryan announced recently that he supports the Voting Rights Amendment Act, which would restore the Voting Rights Act. But he’s hiding behind the objections of House Judiciary Committee Chair Bob Goodlatte, who doesn’t think the Voting Rights Act should be restored at all. Sign the petition: Schedule a vote on the Voting Rights Amendment Act.

2. Fighting for strong voting rights protections under the Voting Rights Advancement Act: The Voting Rights Advancement Act would go even further. It would require states with a history of recent voting discrimination to clear changes to voting laws with the Department of Justice, require any new state voter ID laws to be reviewed and approved by the federal government, and block new efforts to suppress African-American and Latino votes. Crucially, the bill would also give the U.S. attorney general the authority to send federal election observers to monitor elections in which there’s a risk of voting discrimination. Sign the petition to Congress: Stop voter suppression and pass the Voting Rights Advancement Act.

3. Making it easier to register and vote in New York: After four years of steady decline, New York ranked 49th out of 50 states in voter turnout in 2014 – the second lowest in the country. Now, Gov. Cuomo wants to make it easier for New Yorkers to vote. His plan includes automatic voter registration for people who get or update their drivers license, and would make New York the 35th state to allow in-person early voting. If this plan is implemented, it could clear the pathway to voting for millions of New Yorkers. We need to send a strong message now to New York lawmakers in favor of these proposals. If you live in New York, sign the petition telling the New York Legislature to support automatic voter registration and early voting for all New York elections.

As we approach the 2016 elections, Republican efforts to enact discriminatory voter ID laws and suppress the votes of African-Americans, Latinos, college students and other people will only increase. CREDO will do everything in our power to stand up for the right to vote.