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Millions Severed From the Body Politic

Millions Severed From the Body Politic

By Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:43pm
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Bloody Sunday march for voting rights and the passage of the Voting Rights Act.  In this historic year, as we work to strengthen and update the law that protects voters of color at the polls, it is important to remember another ongoing denial of this most fundamental right. An estimated 5.85 million citizens cannot vote as a result of criminal convictions. Nearly 4.4 million of those have been released from prison and are living and working in our communities, yet they are denied a political voice. 
365 Days Later and still no action. When will the House act to protect voting?

The Most Conservative Principle in American Politics

By Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:53am

"The right to vote is at the very foundation of our American system, and nothing must interfere with this very precious right." – President Gerald Ford

"[T]he right to vote is the crown jewel of American liberties, and we will not see its…

Mr. President, What Will Be Your Civil Rights Legacy?

Mr. President, What Will Be Your Civil Rights Legacy?

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:44am

Watching President Obama take the Oath of Office four years ago was a historic moment I will never forget. I remember meeting him when he was an Illinois state senator...

Federal Reforms Needed to Increase Voter Access

Federal Reforms Needed to Increase Voter Access

By Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Shawn Jain, Media Strategist, ACLU at 4:18pm

Tomorrow, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold an important hearing entitled, The State of the Right to Vote After the 2012 Election. The timing is ripe for the committee to consider the state of our most fundamental right as citizens.  Just…

Who Really Won the Election?  Democracy Did.

Who Really Won the Election? Democracy Did.

By Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:00pm

On Tuesday, despite the massive hurdles put in front of voters since 2010 – citizens nonetheless, fought through voter suppression tactics, misinformation, long lines, then longer lies, and the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy to have their voices…

States to Young Voters: We Don’t Want a Repeat of ‘08

States to Young Voters: We Don’t Want a Repeat of ‘08

By Demelza Baer, Washington Legislative Office at 5:21pm

Defying the stereotype that they are apathetic or disengaged, young voters turned out in droves in the 2008 presidential election, capping off their record-setting participation in many state primaries and caucuses. Although the high water mark for…

Voter Suppression is an LGBT Rights Issue – Just Ask Asher

Voter Suppression is an LGBT Rights Issue – Just Ask Asher

By Patrick DePoy, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:05am

Like many Americans, Asher Schor is excited to vote this coming November. Asher was born and raised in Pittsburgh, works at a public interest law firm, and feels more motivated than ever to participate in the electoral process. But Asher…

Voter Suppression Laws: Will We Let Them Impact the 2012 Election?

Voter Suppression Laws: Will We Let Them Impact the 2012 Election?

By Sandhya Bathija, Washington Legislative Office at 1:49pm

As we head into the 2012 presidential election, we’re sure to hear competing claims on where our electorate stands and speculations on why.

Last week, The Washington Post reported on 2010 U.S. Census data that shows the number of Black…

Keeping Ohio’s Souls at the Polls: Sen. Durbin Holds Field Hearing on Ohio Voting Law

Keeping Ohio’s Souls at the Polls: Sen. Durbin Holds Field Hearing on Ohio Voting Law

By Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Mike Brickner, ACLU of Ohio at 11:30am

On Monday, May 7, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights will hold a field hearing in Cleveland, Ohio to examine the impact of Ohio’s new voting law, HB 194.

The Democracy Restoration Act: Everyone Deserves a Voice

The Democracy Restoration Act: Everyone Deserves a Voice

By Georgeanne M. Usova, Washington Legislative Office at 12:18pm

Six years ago, Desmond Meade stood along a set of railroad tracks and considered jumping in front of an oncoming train. Homeless, unemployed and recently released from prison, Desmond felt out of options, and couldn't imagine a future for himself.…

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