ACLU History: Guaranteeing the Right to Vote

Document Date: September 1, 2010

1960 African-Americans demonstrate in favor of a strong civil right plank outside GOP convention hall, Chicago, Illinois.

‘[T]he vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men.’
— President Lyndon B. Johnson, at the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965

The right to vote is essential to our democracy. To deny any eligible voter that opportunity is to undermine the fundamental freedoms that define who we are as a nation. Through its Voting Rights Project, the ACLU has continually challenged laws and requirements that diminish free speech and our democratic process.

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