Thursday, June 11, 2020
Resources for working against voter suppression
A friend asked recently if I could point her to how to work against efforts to suppress voting rights. This is a huge subject. It is complicated by the fact that voting in this country is administered at the state and local level, so one size doesn't fit all. But it seems worth sharing the broad overview I came up with here. There's plenty of scope for any one who wants to work on this. Here's what I wrote:
The go-to source on all matters of voting fairness, voter suppression, and vote by mail is the Brennan Center for Justice.
The nation's top scholar of these matters is Rick Hasen (UC Irvine). The top voting expansion lawyer these days (Democrat) is Marc Elias. Op-ed's by either are always valuable as are news stories that quote them.
There are many groups, many organized as non-profits, that work to expand the vote. At the moment, the underlying impulse is coming from the Democrats because restricting the franchise has become part of the Republican Party's orthodoxy in a moment when it can't seem to adapt to changing demographics.
Fair Fight is working largely in Southern states, seems competent, and reasonably well funded.
Voto Latino, Black Voters Matter, and Rock the Vote work to get people registered, a major hurdle to voting.
The national ACLU Voting Rights Project has been at this forever.
In California, the ACLU in San Diego has taken the voting rights lead.
This might seem old fashioned, but in may localities, the League of Women Voters still does vital voting rights work.
All of us help by knowing as much about voting systems as possible. It seems that citizens would be familiar with election procedures, but in fact it's all sort of a black box for many people who are afraid they don't know enough to take part. You can help simply by understanding your local procedures, where to register, when elections take place ... etc.
Hope this gives you some leads. I suggest jumping in somewhere. Many of these groups want more than your money, though they all want that too.