voting booths

Democracy Decoded: Season 2, Episode 4

What If I Want to Vote in Person?

Democracy Decoded: Season 2, Episode 4

What If I Want to Vote in Person?

Go back to Season 2 episodes


Voting in person is still the most popular way to vote for many people. Whether it’s a personal preference, a cultural experience in one's community, or an opportunity to get help from poll workers, millions of Americans head to the polls in person on the first Tuesday in November. In this episode we learn about the history of Election Day (seriously, why a weekday in late fall?) and the challenges that many Americans face when they try to vote in person.

Read the full transcript


Host and Guests:

Simone Leeper litigates a wide range of redistricting-related cases at CLC, challenging gerrymanders and advocating for election systems that guarantee all voters an equal opportunity to influence our democracy. Prior to arriving at CLC, Simone was a law clerk in the office of Senator Ed Markey and at the Library of Congress, Office of General Counsel. She received her J.D. cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center in 2019 and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Columbia University in 2016.

Valencia Richardson is Legal Counsel for Voting Rights at Campaign Legal Center. Her work focuses on addressing local-level election compliance under the Voting Rights Act in the Deep South. Prior to joining CLC, Valencia was a voting rights organizer and activist. Before law school, Valencia was a Fulbright grantee to Mexico and a student voting rights organizer for the Andrew Goodman Foundation, for which she served as a board member. She is the author of a nonfiction book, “Young and Disaffected,” and published “Voting While Poor: Reviving the Twenty-Fourth Amendment and Eliminating the Modern-Day Poll Tax” in the Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy. Valencia has litigated various voting rights cases in state and federal court, including Pascua Yaqui v. Rodriguez, Pettaway v. Galveston County, as well as Aguilar v. Yakima County, the first case litigated under the Washington Voting Rights Act.

Samantha Kelty is a Staff Attorney with the Native American Rights Fund in its Washington, DC, office.  Samantha litigates to eliminate obstacles to voting faced by Native Americans. At NARF, she has successfully litigated or settled major victories for Native American voting rights, including securing compliance with the National Voter Registration Act in South Dakota, ballot assistance in Montana and Nevada, ballot receipt extension deadlines in Nevada, and on-reservation polling places in Montana and Nevada.  She also represented amicus curiae National Congress of American Indians before the United States Supreme Court in advocating for the use of ballot collection and equal access by Native American voters under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.  In addition to litigation, she is a member of the Native American Voting Rights Coalition, a nationwide alliance of advocates, lawyers, academics, and tribal representatives that addresses Native American voting issues nationwide.

Terry Ao Minnis is the senior director of the census and voting programs for Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC. Terry is a widely respected authority on voting rights. She was one of the key leaders in the campaigns to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act in 2006 as well as to address the Supreme Court's decision in Shelby County v. Holder. Appointed to the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Elections in 2020, Terry was named one of the four living 2020 National Women’s History Alliance Honorees: Valiant Women of the Vote. She is one of NOW’s 100 Sisters of Suffrage as part of their celebration of the centennial anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment.



Voting Must Be Accessible (Campaign Legal Center)

Why the U.S. Needs Equitable Access to In-Person Voting (Campaign Legal Center)

Giving Voters Time Off To Vote Would Help Promote Fair Representation (Campaign Legal Center)

Fair Fight Action v. Raffensperger (Campaign Legal Center)

Native Voters Still Face Obstacles, White House Outlines a Path Forward (Campaign Legal Center)

Securing Safe Voting Options on the Pascua Yaqui Reservation (AZ) (Campaign Legal Center)


About CLC:

Democracy Decoded is a production of Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization which advances democracy through law at the federal, state and local levels, fighting for every American’s right to responsive government and a fair opportunity to participate in and affect the democratic process. Learn more about us.