Not long ago there were poll taxes and literacy tests, and sheriffs stood outside of polling places preventing Black people from voting. Volunteers registering African Americans to vote were persecuted and even killed. The remnants of these practices remain today, better disguised. Rather than wielding weapons or physically blocking people from voting, state, local, and federal governments are enacting policies and practices to curtail the growing political power of voters of color as they emerge into the new American majority.
This is why we fight. Advancement Project partners with bold, movement- and strategy-minded visionaries and doers to undo this legacy. Our partners are in the forefront of battles to restore voting rights to populations who were overly criminalized and remove barriers to the ballot before Election Day. Importantly, we are also pioneers in the fight to eliminate these wrongs once and for all by establishing a national right to vote. We have been on the front lines of fights for voting rights because access to the ballot gives communities of color power and self-determination in the matters that impact their lives.
From Louisiana to Florida and Virginia, Advancement Project is actively supporting partners undoing the remnants of Jim Crow legacies that deprive communities – largely people of color – from their voice and vote even after serving their sentences.
We are fighting unprecedented legal and legislative schemes at state and national levels that have a disparate effect on people of color’s access to the ballot. Advancement Project is deeply involved in movement-based work aimed at blocking barriers to the ballot for voters of color and expanding access to the vote before Election Day.
We are building a sustainable voter protection infrastructure that is owned and operated by local grassroots groups. By training local grassroots leaders to be the eyes and ears on the ground, voter protection captains can use their local relationships and their power to fix problems as they arise.
The lack of an affirmative right to vote in the U.S. Constitution is inextricably tied to the history of racism in America, as the founders compromised on this right to accommodate slave states. Hundreds of years after the founding of the United States, we are still fighting this original sin. Advancement Project works with seasoned leaders and emerging movements to foster a pro-democracy movement that uplifts the fundamental right to vote.