Advancement Project National Office: ‘We Must Shed Light on Discriminatory Voting Practices Now’
National Civil Rights Organizations Launch WeVoteWeCount.org to Collect Stories of Voter Suppression, Drive Change Ahead of 2020 Presidential Election
Ahead of the 2020 presidential election, Advancement Project National Office, in partnership the W.K. Kellogg Racial Equity Anchor Collaborative, launched WeVoteWeCount.org, a new online platform allowing voters to share their experiences facing interference at the polls, difficulties registering to vote, and other barriers to voting. The new website is an effort to demand action guaranteeing full voter protections for every citizen during the 2020 presidential and future elections.
The launch of WeVoteWeCount.org comes ahead of a Congressional voting rights hearing on April 25, led by Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (D-OH). During the House Administration Committee hearing, expert witnesses, including directly impacted voters, will provide testimony and data on voting rights.
With the weakening of the Voting Rights Act by the Supreme Court’s Shelby County v. Holder decision, states across the country have implemented restrictive voting policies that disproportionately harm communities of color. WeVoteWeCount.org amplifies the voices of those experiencing unfair barriers to the ballot box by allowing the submission of audio recordings, written pieces, photos or short videos. Voter stories will be published on the site and compiled in a comprehensive report that will be publicly released this summer. The platform and report will draw attention to discriminatory voting practices experienced by voters across the country.
“Through our long-standing voter protection work in Georgia, Florida and Missouri, we know Black and Brown communities disproportionately faced barriers to the ballot box during the 2016 and 2018 elections. These barriers were intentionally erected to make it harder for them to vote, “said Denise Lieberman, Director of Advancement Project National Office’s Power and Democracy Program. “From strict voter ID policies, to the closure of polling locations, to voter intimidation, we saw how voters of colors faced more barriers than their white counterparts. By launching WeVoteWeCount.org, we aim to amplify the voices of voters and clearly demonstrate why the Voting Rights Act must be restored.”
A spokesman for the W.K. Kellogg Racial Equity Anchor Collaborative said in a statement, “Every American should have a constitutional right to vote, and every one of those votes should count. WeVoteWeCount.org will make sure every story of voting interference counts, too. We encourage voters from all walks of life who have faced barriers to voting to visit WeVoteWeCount.Org to share their story. By drawing back the curtain on discriminatory voting practices across the country, WeVoteWeCount.org empowers voters to collectively use their voices to spark real change ahead of 2020.”
Since the Shelby County v. Holder decision, several states including Alabama, Texas, Mississippi, North Carolina, and others instituted restrictive voting measures that unfairly target and affect communities of color, impeding their abilities to register and vote.
Voter suppression tactics also affect local funding for schools, fire departments and other public services, as voter turnout data is used by the U.S. Census Bureau to inform crucial investment decisions. If communities of color and other historically underrepresented voters aren’t counted at the polls, they also won’t count in the census, which can have devastating consequences for their neighborhoods. With the presidential election and census approaching in 2020, now is the time to address discriminatory voting practices that prevent Americans from casting a ballot and being counted.
To submit a story or learn more about this critical voting rights effort, please visit WeVoteWeCount.org.
Advancement Project is a multi-racial civil rights organization. Founded by a team of veteran civil rights lawyers in 1999, Advancement Project was created to develop and inspire community-based solutions based on the same high quality legal analysis and public education campaigns that produced the landmark civil rights victories of earlier eras.
WeVoteWeCount.org is a digital platform designed to give voters a place to share stories of interference at the polls, difficulties registering to vote, and other barriers to voting. Communities of color have faced a longstanding history of racially discriminatory laws that limit access to voting; WeVoteWeCount.org will shed light on these unfair practices and spark change ahead of the 2020 presidential election and 2020 census so that every voice is heard – and counted. WeVoteWeCount.org is an initiative launched by the Racial Equity Anchor Collaborative: Advancement Project, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Demos, Faith In Action, NAACP, National Congress of American Indians, National Urban League, Race Forward and UnidosUS.
About the W.K. Kellogg Racial Equity Anchor Collaborative
Advancement Project, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Demos, Faith in Action, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, National Congress of American Indians, National Urban League, Race Forward, and UnidosUS are a collaborative of nine leading national racial equity anchor organizations (the Anchors) supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Together, we work to promote racial equity, advance racial healing, and ensure that all children, families, and communities have opportunities to reach their full potential.