The Latest on Voting Rights
Most states restore the right to vote to people after they complete their sentences. In fact, up to 17 million Americans with past convictions can vote right now - they just don't know it because felony disenfranchisement laws in every state can be confusing. CLC launched a website, RestoreYourVote.org and on-the-ground campaign to help people with past convictions in all 50 states know their rights.
CLC has been fighting against Texas’s discriminatory photo voter ID law since 2011. CLC represents Texas Congressman Marc Veasey and a group for Texas voters who challenged the law as unconstitutional and discriminatory. Years of litigation have ensured that voters in Texas can never be turned away from the polls simply for lacking a certain type of photo ID.
CLC joined with American Constitution Society and Georgetown University Law Center to create the Voting Rights Institute in 2014. The VRI works to prepare the next generation of attorneys, experts and activists to preserve our democracy and protect the ability of all Americans to vote
CLC challenged the state's extremely complicated registration process in federal court and reached a settlement agreement that eases Arizona's registration process, so that tens of thousands of voter registrations in Arizona would not be rejected because of unnecessary bureaucracy.
Voting Rights Cases and Actions
In 2018, Florida voters restored the right to vote to individuals with felony convictions. The legislature then enacted a law conditioning rights restoration on payment of restitution, fines, and fees. CLC represents Floridians Bonnie Raysor and Diane Sherrill in challenging the constitutionality of the law.
In Tennessee, the law regarding which people with past criminal convictions can and cannot vote has been confusing. Based on the most recent estimates, Tennessee’s law disenfranchises over 421,000 people in the state, but the good news is that many of those people can get their right to vote back.
Campaign Legal Center is working in Tennessee to assist people with convictions through the rights restoration process, train community leaders on that process and break down the notion that a felony conviction always means that you cannot vote for life.
Tennessee enacted a law severely curtailing the ability of civic organizations to conduct voter registration activities. CLC serves as counsel in a case challenging the constitutionality of the law.