Following the 2016 election, the fight for voting rights remains as critical as ever. Politicians across the country continue to engage in voter suppression, efforts that include additional obstacles to registration, cutbacks on early voting, and strict voter identification requirements. Through litigation and advocacy, the ACLU is fighting back against attempts to curtail an essential right in our democracy, the right to vote.
In addition to this litigation, we are working with our affiliates to advocate for policies that make it easier for Americans to vote, such as the expansion of same-day and online voter registration.
What You Need To Know
- 2008In 2008, we had the most diverse electorate in U.S. history.
- 27From 2011 to 2012, 27 measures were passed or implemented in 19 states that make it harder to vote.
- 2013In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down what had been called the “heart” of the Voting Rights Act.
In order to bring voter registration into the 21st century and make voting as convenient as possible, the ACLU advocates for reforms that have been demonstrated to be extremely effective at making sure that all Americans who want to cast a ballot are able to do so.
Voting rights are under attack nationwide as states pass voter suppression laws. These laws lead to significant burdens for eligible voters trying to exercise their most fundamental constitutional right. Since 2008, states across the country have passed measures to make it harder for Americans—particularly black people, the elderly, students, and people with disabilities—to exercise their fundamental right to cast a ballot.
Since 1965, the Voting Rights Act (VRA) has protected minority voters at the polls. In June 2013, in a huge blow to democracy, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the coverage formula used for Section 5 of the VRA, which required jurisdictions with significant histories of voter discrimination to "pre-clear" any new voting practices or procedures, i.e., get federal approval from the Department of Justice, and show that they do not have a discriminatory purpose or effect.
The ACLU works to ensure that redistricting takes place in a fair way that accounts for the size of a district's population and its racial and ethnic diversity.
- OtherJuly 21, 2011
Kris Kobach, the ‘King of Voter Suppression,’ Will Lead Trump’s Sham Voter Fraud Commission. Be Afraid, Very Afraid.Blog Post - Speak FreelyMay 12, 2017
- Legal DocumentJune 23, 2017
Ruthelle Frank, ACLU Plaintiff, Friend, and Voting Rights Champion, Passes Away at 89. The Fight for Every American’s Vote to be Counted Continues.Blog Post - Speak FreelyJune 23, 2017
- CaseJune 23, 2017
- Blog Post - Washington MarkupJune 22, 2017
- News/Press ReleaseJune 22, 2017
- News/Press ReleaseJune 19, 2017