Protecting Your Voting Rights

Election Day Problems? Report Questionable Activity

Report an Election Day problem by calling:

  • 1-866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683)

  • 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (en Español)

  • 1-888-API-VOTE (Asian multilingual assistance)

  • 1-844-YALLA-US (Arabic)

 

In an ideal world, every voting-aged individual would feel enthusiastic, secure, safe, and satisfied in the voting process.

Image result for voting rights

The Issues:

Voting rights are under attack nationwide as states pass voter suppression laws under the pretext of preventing voter fraud and safeguarding election integrity.
These include:

        • Cutting back on early voting
        • Voter ID laws
          • “Studies suggest that up to 11 percent of American citizens lack such an ID and would be required to navigate the administrative burdens to obtain one or forego the right to vote entirely”
        • Making it harder to vote when they go to the wrong precinct
        • Depressed socioeconomic status that limits the ability of Native American tribal members to participate effectively in local, state, and national elections
        • State laws preventing individuals with a felony conviction (and sometimes even misdemeanor offenses) from voting, which prevents approzimately 5.85 million Americans from voting
          • According to ACLU, many disenfranchised citizens live in Florida, Iowa, or Kentucky, the three states with extreme policies of disenfranchising anyone with a felony conviction for life. These states are among those that also disproportionately suppress the voting rights of black people. In Florida and Kentucky, approximately one in five black citizens is disenfranchised due to a prior conviction. In Iowa, the longstanding system of disenfranchisement, paired with the worst disproportionate incarceration rate of black people in the nation, resulted in the disenfranchisement of an estimated one in four voting-age black men by 2005
        • Image result for gerrymanderingGerrymandering is when the lines are drawn to manipulate the boundaries to predetermine the outcome of elections, hindering voters from voicing their interests through their votes

 

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. These measures include cuts to early voting, voter ID laws, and purges of voter rolls. (Learn More)

 

On a Personal Level:

Rigged: The Voter Suppression Playbook Trailer

Protecting Our Elections

WE INVITE ALL AMERICANS TO JOIN THE FIGHT AGAINST VOTER SUPPRESSION

1. Register and vote in every election

The best way to counter massive amounts of outside money influencing election outcomes is not to take any election for granted — especially state and local elections.  So register. Then vote.

2. Support citizen-led initiatives

Ones that expand voting rights and fight back against lawmakers’ attempts to create gerrymandered districts.  In 2018, citizen-led initiatives restored the right to vote for felons in Florida and put a stop to gerrymandering in Michigan and three other states.  

3. Get Information

Find out from your local Board of Elections what their parameters are for cleaning up the voter rolls, (i.e., are they just removing people who have passed away, or purging people who haven’t voted in the last few elections).   

4. Speak up when people talk about rampant voter fraud.

While some politicians have effectively pushed the lie that voter fraud endangers the integrity of our elections, the truth is that the percentage of votes found to be fraudulent comes out to .00002% (or 40 votes out of 197 million cast).

5. Do your homework

Do your homework before you vote for state or local judges. These are the people who will ultimately make decisions about who can vote, so find out where they stand on protecting voter rights. And let your US Senators know how you feel about federal judge nominees.  

6. Say Something

If you witness or experience voter intimidation when you go to vote, say something. Call the Election Protection Hotline: 866-OUR-VOTE, or the Latino Protect the Vote Hotline: 888-VE-Y-VOTA. And make sure to contact your Secretary of State and local, state, or federal representatives if you feel your access to the ballot is being impinged.

7. Donate and Volunteer

Give donations and volunteer for political candidates at the state and Congressional level who support voting rights and want to strengthen the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Or donate to groups that are on the frontlines of the voting rights fight.

Fact Checking & Misinformation

With the news, social media, and television ads the platforms to disseminate misinformation are ever-widening.

Did you know that you can fact check political ads & statements from candidates? Visit www.snopes.com to obtain accurate information.

Snopes got its start in 1994, investigating urban legends, hoaxes, and folklore. Snopes.comFounder David Mikkelson, later joined by his wife, was publishing online before most people were connected to the internet. As demand for reliable fact checks grew, so did Snopes. Now it’s the oldest and largest fact-checking site online, widely regarded by journalists, folklorists, and readers as an invaluable research companion.

For example, snopes wanted to answer the question “Did Sanders Propose Raising Taxes to 52% on Incomes over $29,000?”  They found the claim to be false.

 

Companies such as AARP and Business Insider are providing warning and tips on the rapidly spreading misinformation of political ads and posts on social media, particularly Facebook.

AARP warns that older individuals are particularly susceptible to being targeted and manipulated with false political social media posts. AARP’s Fraud Watch Network can help you spot and avoid scams. Sign up for free “watchdog alerts,” review our scam-tracking map, or call our toll-free fraud helpline at 877-908-3360 if you or a loved one suspect you’ve been a victim.

 

Business Insider states “Facebook is embroiled in yet another controversy, but this time it’s not about your data: It’s about foreign interference in American elections, and partisan politics, and freedom of speech.

It all stems from a relatively simple announcement Facebook made about how its advertising works: Facebook refuses to fact-check political ads that run on its platform.” (Read more here)

 

Voter Rights

There are still policies that discourage or make it more difficult for many individuals to vote in elections.

Vote for Individuals that Prioritize These Voting Practices:

  1. Ending felony disenfranchisement, which has left one in 13 black Americans of voting age unable to vote
  2. Granting statehood to D.C., where people of color are the majorityImage result for voting rights
  3. Extending voting rights to territories, whose 4 million residents are 98 percent people of color
  4. Enacting automatic voter registration, same day registration, early voting, pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-olds, independent redistricting commissions, and rights restoration to people with convictions. These measures will do a great deal to close the racial gap in voter registration and participation.
  5. Restore the Voting Rights Act

Is Voter Fraud Real?

 

On a Policy Level:

The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda has a wonderful fact list to promote voting access for all:

Getting Ahead of Discrimination

  • An individual cannot make-up a vote when his or her voting rights were barred because of voter laws… The election is already over!
  • Allowing voting laws to be reviewed before implementation rids the chance of unlawful discrimination.

Addressing All Forms of Discrimination

Courts could potentially place an immediate hold on on discriminatory voting laws by focusing on present day and recent issues at the ballot box.

  • Courts could work on a case by case basis, focus on what’s happening on the ground and respond in real-time… No more lengthy lawsuits causing long term disenfranchisement.
  • The 14th, 15th, 24th, and 26th amendments to the US Constitution protect voting rights of individuals… However, there are still loopholes.Image result for voter discrimination gif
  • With enhanced “bail-in,” Courts can impose additional review if they find a violation of any part of the VRA, not just constitutional violations.
  • Increased flexibility works towards addressing all potential discrimination.

Providing Real-Time Protection to Voters Nationwide

To ensure everyone’s right to vote, certain states and counties with repeated violations in the present or recent past are subject to extra review to break the pattern of discrimination.
Times are ever changing, but history can still speak to the future. The voting practices can be evaluated going back 15 years!
States, counties, and cities that have indication of repeated violation in this timeframe will have all potential voting changes evaluated prior to implementation.
Using an annual review that considers the most recent information, places that maintain fair voting practices can be removed from the list

Transparency and Accountability

  • Currently, there is no requirement for the public to be informed of voting law changes!
  • This bill would require public notice of certain voting changes with 30 days of its enactment.
  • This does not limit the ability to consider changes, rather it increases transparency to the electorate when these changes happen.

Keeping an Eye on Potential Discrimination

  • An expanded ability for federal observers to monitor polling places:

– Any place with voting materials in more than one language – Free appointment from Attorney General

– Any place in violation of VRA or Constitution

– Not subjected to predetermined list of locations

  • Voters are protected and state and local governments are held accountable

 

Image result for voter discrimination gif