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Voting Rights

The legacy of white supremacy that criminalizes, kills, and steals people of color from the futures they deserve has another less visible, but important disempowering effect: The deprivation of our right to vote.

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.

Rights Restoration

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.

Voter Protection

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.

Right to Vote

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.

Why we still need the right to vote, a generation later

SNCC leaders join contemporary racial justice voices to discuss a crucial next step for voting rights

North Carolina’s Monster Voter Suppression Law Overturned in Historic Victory for Voting Rights

This ruling validates that lawmakers cannot run roughshod over voters’ rights for their own political gain.

Civil Rights Groups File Amicus Brief in Virginia Restoration of Voting Rights Case

Denying voting rights to people with prior felony convictions was an explicit scheme to eradicate Black voters from Virginia’s electorate.

Amicus Brief: Virginia Rights Restoration

Three Years after Shelby County v. Holder Ruling, Access to the Ballot in Jeopardy for Voters of Color

Conservative state legislatures have wasted no time in passing voter suppression laws.

Barriers to the Ballot

Restrictive Voting Procedures in 2016

Civil Rights and Labor Groups Join Forces; Call for Innovative Tactics to Protect the Right to Vote

That the right to vote is not enshrined in the Constitution is inextricably tied to the history of race in America.

Lawsuit Challenging Restoration of Voting Rights in Virginia is Undemocratic, Blatant Attempt to Suppress Ballot Access for Voters of Color

Laws that disenfranchise voters based on prior mistakes have deeply impacted communities of color who have been targeted by our nation’s broken criminal justice system.

Missouri Legislature Passes Bills to Undercut Fundamental Right to Vote

Making it harder for some communities to cast a ballot is not only undemocratic, but also unconstitutional.

Shelby v. Holder Three Years Later

NC Ruling Just the First Step in Legal Battle to Protect Voters of Color

The court’s decision admits historic discrimination, but ignores how that discrimination impacts voting rights today.

Civil Rights Organizations Applaud Virginia Governor’s Move to Expand Democracy, Restore Voting Rights for Persons With Prior Felony Convictions

Our justice system is built on the principals of redemption – that people may redeem themselves from past mistakes and be welcomed home to their communities.