About the 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). And since its inception, the Voting Rights Project has litigated over 300 voting rights cases, and has aggressively and successfully challenged efforts that dilute minority voting strength or obstruct the ability of minority communities to elect candidates of their choice.

2012 was a banner year for the Voting Rights Project. The Project represented parties in two voting rights cases before the United States Supreme Court: representing plaintiffs in Arizona v. Inter-Tribal Council of Ariz., a successful challenge to Arizona's imposition of onerous documentary proof of citizenship requirements for voter registration; and representing intervenors in Shelby County v. Holder, defending the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. During 2012, the ACLU also participated in litigation that successfully blocked the implementation of voter ID laws in Texas, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania; as well as reductions to the early voting period in five Florida counties in Florida. The Project also relocated from Atlanta to New York, with a renewed focus on fighting state voter suppression efforts throughout the country.

The ACLU is currently litigating voter suppression and minority vote dilution cases in over a dozen states, from coast to coast, in every region of the country. We are the only civil rights organization committed to defending the voting rights of all Americans, with legislative and litigation capacity in all 50 states.

Staff of the Voting Rights Project

Dale Ho, Director
Laughlin McDonald, Special Counsel and Director Emeritus
Julie Ebenstein, Staff Attorney
Sean Young, Staff Attorney
Molly Rugg, Paralegal
Faith Barksdale, Legal Administrative Assistant

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