Advocates Respond to Voting Rights Win in Kansas, Georgia and Alabama
WASHINGTON – On Friday, the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit issued an order preventing Kansas, Alabama, and Georgia from requiring documentary proof of citizenship for people registering to vote. Advancement Project, the multi-racial civil rights organization and the non-partisan New Georgia Project released the following statement:
“The court’s ruling promoted that every voice matters when it rejected attempts to complicate the voter registration process for people of color,” said Nse Ufot, Executive Director of the non-partisan New Georgia Project. “The vote is a key tool for the improvement of our communities and critical for our democracy. Generations fought for the right to vote and, like those who came before us, we will continue to defeat efforts to interfere with Georgians’ access to the ballot.”
“This is another victory for communities of color and for anyone who believes in making access to the ballot easier, not harder,” said Judith Browne Dianis, Executive Director for Advancement Project’s national office. “The now-denied measure allowing Kansas, Alabama and Georgia to restrict the path to voter registration came with politically dubious timing. Opponents of voting rights and those attempting to silence communities of color are openly trying their best to keep us from the ballot. This should send a clear message that communities of color, advocates and allies are fighting back and yielding results from North Carolina to Georgia, Wisconsin and across the country.”
“Attempts to curtail the rights of people of color have a long, ongoing, painful and well-documented history in our country,” said Edward A. Hailes Jr., General Counsel and Managing Director for Advancement Project’s national office. “Schemes like requiring documentary proof of citizenship are just one more attempt to silence people of color. These attempts are increasingly seen by communities of color for what they are: racially-motivated political attacks on people of color. With each victory, we inch closer to justice. A victory like this is important on its own merits, but it’s also a reminder of the importance of voting as one more tool to uproot harmful, racially-motivated policies threatening our communities.”
Earlier this year, the executive director of the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), Brian Newby, unilaterally approved an onerous additional step for people attempting to register to vote in Georgia, Kansas and Alabama with the federal form. Applicants would have been required to provide additional documentary proof of citizenship. This step, struck down by the court on Friday, would have imposed another barrier to voter registration and added more confusion to the voter registration process.
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.