Voting Rights Restoration - Advancement Project - Advancement Project

Voting Rights Restoration

The time is ripe to fundamentally reform our democracy.

The right of Americans to participate meaningfully in political life is under assault. For two decades, Advancement Project National Office has called for a nationwide movement to secure the ultimate protection for voting: an affirmative right to vote at the federal level.

 

Americans today face numerous barriers to the ballot box – strict voter ID laws, proof of citizenship requirements, discriminatory voter purges, draconian felon disenfranchisement schemes, and an assortment of inconsistent and complex voting guidelines at the state and local level. These barriers have a disproportionate impact on voters of color, low-income voters, and elderly voters.

Moreover, today, hostility at all three branches of government elevates legal and legislative schemes at the state and national levels that create those barriers to voting and building power for people of color. With the Department of Justice retreating on its oversight of discriminatory state voting practices and with the U.S. Supreme Court poised to further weaken national protections for voting, we are fighting against the dangerous narrative of voter fraud promoted by the current administration that is intended to justify further hurdles for voters of color, precisely as they become an ever larger proportion of the Growing American Electorate – poised to take power. This is no coincidence.

Much of our current work focuses on the great stain in our democracy during this era of mass incarceration – the mass denial of civil life to those who have paid their debt to society or endured wrongful conviction and imprisonment. Our right to vote work spans Louisiana, Virginia, Missouri and Florida, where in November 2018, we worked alongside grassroots partners to win Amendment 4 which restored the right to vote to 1.4 million Returning Citizens. Our long-time work defending the fundamental right to vote in Missouri has included several successful right to vote and rights restoration wins.

Watch: Desmond Meade and Judith Browne Dianis talk about rights restoration in Florida

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Advancement Project Reacts To Reintroduction of John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Senators Dick Durbin (Ill.), Raphael Warnock (Ga.), Cory Booker (N.J.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), and Laphonza Butler (Calif.) reintroduced the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. This bill would restore a key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 called the “coverage formula,” thereby requiring federal pre-approval of new voting laws before they are used by certain states and localities. In response, John Powers, Director of the Power and Democracy Program at Advancement Project, issued this statement: “Advancement Project applauds the reintroduction of the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. It is a critical…

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Advancement Project Reacts to Supreme Court Victory for Voters in Moore vs Harper

WASHINGTON, DC – In response to today’s Supreme Court decision on the Moore vs Harper case, Advancement Project executive director Judith Browne Dianis issued this statement: “Today’s decision is a tremendous victory for voters. We only narrowly escaped a world where the Supreme Court would have handed state legislators with the full blown power to manipulate elections and run rogue, taking away our power as voters and undermining democracy. However, this does not detract from what we already know to be true: that despite this win, access to the ballot for Black, Latinx, Indigenous…

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White Paper Released as Louisiana Legislature Hears HB 396 to Streamline Voter Registration Process for People with Felony Convictions this Wednesday

New Orleans, LA – Today, Voice of the Experienced (VOTE), Advancement Project, and political scientist Dr. Ariel White released a new white paper titled “No Surrender, No Retreat! Removing Barriers to the Ballot Box for Formerly Incarcerated People in Louisiana.” The white paper unveils the 64-parish survey of the registrars of voters, while also highlighting the historical challenges faced by Louisiana voters with felony convictions when trying to register to vote.   Shockingly, only 23 out of 46 parishes, or 50%, correctly stated that…

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Plaintiffs Challenging Florida’s SB 90 React to 11th Circuit Reversal

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Yesterday, a panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a district court decision and allowed Florida to continue to force communities of color to navigate unnecessary obstacles in order to vote.  This decision undercuts the thorough analysis of the district court which rightfully found that Florida’s SB 90 was adopted with the intent to discriminate against Black voters in violation of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments as well as section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Additionally, the 11th Circuit reversed the decision by the lower court…

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Advancement Project Releases Poll and Focus Group Data on Gen Z Voters of Color Spanning Four States

Advancement Project Releases Poll and Focus Group Data on Gen Z Voters of Color in Michigan, Florida, Georgia, and Virginia Issues that rose to the top include abortion access, the economy, and systemic racism and discrimination WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, Advancement Project released findings from a poll and focus groups of Gen Z voters of color (Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and Asian American and Pacific Islander) in Michigan, Florida, Georgia, and Virginia ahead of the upcoming midterm elections. This survey was conducted by HIT Strategies in September 2022.  “We know that when our…

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BREAKING: Court Denies Motion from Civil Rights Groups Challenging Georgia’s Voting Line Relief Ban

GEORGIA – The United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia denied a motion for a preliminary injunction to suspend the line relief ban in Senate Bill 202. Line relief is the practice of distributing food, water and other support to voters stuck waiting in line at a polling place. The plaintiffs include local Black faith leaders and Georgia civil rights groups. In response, Jess Unger, Staff Attorney for the Power and Democracy program at Advancement Project National Office, released this statement: “The criminalization of people providing food and water to voters who are waiting to cast their…

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Hearing in Lawsuit Challenging Georgia Anti-Voting Rights Law Weighs Impact of Line Relief Restrictions

GEORGIA —  The United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia will be hearing motions for a preliminary injunction in the consolidated litigation challenging SB 202 (In Re Georgia Senate Bill 202). This hearing will consider the “line relief” provision that criminalizes those who provide voters waiting in line with food and water, which disproportionately impacts communities of color in Georgia who face some of the longest waiting times at the ballot box in the country.  SB 202 creates significant barriers for Black, Latinx and other voters of color…

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Advancement Project National Office Condemns New Anti-Voting Rights Law in Florida that Creates Office of Election Crimes, Mandates Special Voter-Fraud Police Officers

FLORIDA – Moments ago, Governor DeSantis signed into law a bill passed by the Republican Florida legislature that claims to fight “voter fraud” by creating an Office of Election Crimes and mandating the appointment of “special” members of law enforcement.  This comes on the heels of the conclusion of a trial challenging SB 90, another anti-voting rights measure in Florida. This law was successfully challenged in court by several national and Florida civil rights and voting rights groups, including Advancement Project. Similar anti-voting rights bills…

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Civil Rights Organizations Celebrate Decision in Florida Voting Rights Trial

Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker released a landmark decision today in the nationally-watched voting rights trial on Florida’s SB 90 bill to strike down key provisions of the law. This restrictive voting law passed by the Republican-majority legislature and Gov. DeSantis  would have put in place new constraints on the use of drop boxes and organizations conducting voter registration drives, among other measures that would significantly hinder access to the vote for millions of state residents.

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Trial Challenging Florida’s SB 90 Voter Suppression Law Begins Today

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. —  A trial challenging SB 90 (League of Women Voters v Lee), a Florida measure to make it harder and in many ways impossible for Black and Brown people to vote, kicked off on Monday, Jan. 31. This is one of the first trials of the year challenging anti-voting laws at the state level. It comes just as national voting rights efforts have stalled, with the Senate recently failing to change rules on the filibuster to pass voting rights.  SB 90 was passed by the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature and Gov. Ron DeSantis in spring…

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