History of the ACLU Voting Rights Project
Since its earliest campaign to thwart the notorious prosecution of the Scottsboro Boys in the 1930s, the ACLU has been intensely involved in civil rights. And for the past four decades the organization has won some of the most important and precedent setting cases to come out of the South, including those that: secured the principle of one person, one vote; established the right of women to serve on juries; outlawed racial discrimination in jury pools; ended racial segregation in prisons and jails; ended discriminatory practices such as at-large elections; and outlawed disfranchisement of individuals convicted of misdemeanors.
Established in 1965, the ACLU Voting Rights Project has worked to protect the gains in political participation won by racial and language minorities since passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act (VRA). From 1980 to 1982, the ACLU played a leading role in the successful campaign to educate the public about -- and secure overwhelming bi-partisan support for -- the VRA when it was last renewed by Congress. And since its inception, the Voting Rights Project has aggressively and successfully challenged efforts that dilute minority voting strength or obstruct the ability of minority communities to elect candidates of their choice.