The Latest on Voting Rights
Voting Rights Cases and Actions
In 2021, Georgia passed a new elections law that severely limits the ability of third parties to provide voters with assistance requesting, obtaining and submitting absentee ballot applications. CLC represents several organizations who distribute absentee ballot applications in challenging this burdensome and unnecessary law.
State lawmakers are proposing a record number of anti-voter bills in state legislatures across the country. These bills come in many forms and disproportionately target marginalized communities. CLC is actively working with state and local stakeholders to limit their impact through legal action, legislative advocacy and public education.
CLC filed suit against the sheriff and recorder’s offices in Apache County, Arizona for failing to respond to multiple rounds of CLC’s records requests. These requests sought information on jail voting procedures in Arizona.
CLC and partner voting rights advocacy groups urged Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to institute a series of key reforms to make voting in the January 2021 runoff elections safer during the pandemic.
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 an on-the-ground campaign to help people with past convictions in all 50 states know their rights.
In November 2018, voters in Florida passed a constitutional amendment automatically restoring voting rights to people with felony convictions. In response, the state legislature passed a bill that conditions the right to vote on wealth — people with the financial means to pay fines and fees from a conviction have their rights restored, while those without means remain disenfranchised. CLC challenged the law in court as a class action that would apply to all affected Floridians, and in May 2020 a federal court declared the law unconstitutional.
Tennessean Dawn Harrington, of CLC client Free Hearts shares how changing the state's restrictive voting laws would help more people have their voices heard.