Every Voter Counts
The ability to vote – to have a part in choosing the elected officials whose decisions impact our lives, families, communities, and country – is at the core of our democracy and what it means to be an American. Every American should have a voice in issues that affect them. Every voter counts. But under the guise of preventing so-called “voter fraud” and working in conjunction with advocacy groups, some governors and state legislators have passed laws making it harder for millions of Americans – especially students, seniors, and people of color – to register and to vote.
The Leadership Conference Education Fund, working with allies at the local, state, and national levels, is implementing a campaign to elevate and sustain a focus on voter protection and turnout; to strengthen the ability of individuals and organizations to overcome barriers to the right to vote; and to increase voter turnout among underrepresented populations that are the targets of voter suppression efforts.
FACT SHEET: A Campaign to Protect Access to the Polls and Encourage Voter Participation in 2012 (PDF)
December 21, 2011 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
In a speech last week in Austin, Texas, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder affirmed his commitment to protecting the right to vote and indicated that the Department of Justice will be thoroughly reviewing new state voting laws to determine whether they are discriminatory.
November 18, 2011 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
At a Congressional forum this week, civil and human rights advocates warned about the potential for widespread voter suppression under recently adopted state voter registration laws.
October 5, 2011 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
A new study from the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law finds that as many as five million voters will be adversely affected in the 2012 election by new restrictive state voting laws.
September 23, 2011 - Posted by Tyler Lewis
Earlier this week, U.S. District Judge John Bates upheld the constitutionality of a key provision of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) in a case brought by Shelby County, Alabama.
September 20, 2011 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
At a Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights hearing last week, senators and civil and human rights organizations expressed concern over what one witness called an assault on voting rights comparable to the Jim Crow era.
The hearing focused on the recent wave of state legislation that will restrict voters’ access to the polls, disenfranchising millions of voters.
October 30, 2010 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
The growing use of "ballot security" measures aimed at limiting voter fraud has raised civil rights concerns because of their potential to disrupt the voting process, to disproportionately target minority voters, and to cause voter confusion and intimidation, according to a new report by the Brennan Center for Justice.
October 29, 2010 - Posted by Ron Bigler
This election season, Election Protection (EP), the nation's largest non-partisan voter protection coalition, will be using Twitter as part of its election monitoring activities.
EP is encouraging voters to send Tweets if they are experiencing problems at the polls such as "long lines, voter intimidation, suspicious behavior, voting machine malfunctions, and registration errors."
September 17, 2010 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
The National Black Law Student Association (NBLSA) hosted a rally today at the University of the District of Columbia in support of legislation that would restore voting rights to ex-felons.
Speakers at the event included individuals affected by felony disenfranchisement; members of the NBLSA; Katherine S. Broderick, dean of the University of the District of Columbia's Law School; and representatives of the American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
Kimberly Haven, executive director of Justice Maryland, described the feeling of having her voting rights restored due to Maryland's Voting Registration Protection Act: "My vote is my voice. My voice is my power."
September 14, 2010 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
On September 17, the National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA) will hold a rally in support of the Democracy Restoration Act (DRA) of 2009 from 11:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. at the University of the District of Columbia.
States with laws on the books requiring a government-issued photo ID to vote are: Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Pennsylvania (blocked for 2012 election), and Tennessee. Other states – Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, Oklahoma, and New Hampshire – also require a photo ID. Learn more.
And check out the Voter ID "Map of Shame" to see where laws have been passed, been stopped, or still face legal challenges.
Voices for Voting Rights (Minnesota)
Research & Reports
Latest Blog Posts
A Blog by The Leadership Conference Education Fund
By John Hamilton, a Fall 2015 Leadership Conference Education Fund Intern On November 1, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R. Wisc., made rounds on morning talk shows laying out his vision as the newly elected Speaker of the House of Representatives. One t...
Earlier this week, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights shared a message from Terri Vest, who teaches 11th grade English, social studies, and online psychology courses at Twinfield Union School, a pre-K-12 school in Vermont.
Over the weekend, California became the first state to ban the use of a racist team name or mascot, a name that has come under pressure most visibly in the nation’s capital because of the name of the city’s professional football team. The California Racial Mascots Act, signed by Governor Jerry Brown on Sunday, won the praise of the Change the Mascot campaign. In a joint statement from Jackie Pata, executive director of the National Congress of American Indians, and Ray Halbritter, Oneida Indian Nation Representative, the campaign praised California “for standing on the right side of history by bringing an end to the use of the demeaning and damaging R-word slur in the state’s schools.”
When Viola Davis and Taraji P. Henson were nominated for Emmy’s this year in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series category, they were only the sixth and seventh Black women to ever be nominated for that award.
When Davis accepted her first-ever Emmy Sunday night, she also became the first of those seven women to actually win. Her acceptance speech, one that invoked abolitionist Harriet Tubman, was a powerful reminder that, as Davis said, “The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity.”
In 1971, the U.S. Congress designated August 26 as “Women’s Equality Day” to commemorate the 1920 passage of the 19th amendment – guaranteeing women the right to vote – and to honor the brave women and men who fought for women’s suffrage. Today, on the 95th anniversary of the 19th amendment, the right to vote seems unalienable and fundamental to any democracy – but nearly 100 years ago, many Americans didn’t think women should have that right.
Early this July, six local transportation organizations from across the country gathered in D.C. for the Transportation Equity Caucus (TEC) first national equity convening – a two-day event of trainings, story-sharing, strategizing, and Hill visits with key transportation stakeholders. Each of the organizations in attendance —MORE2, Puget Sound Sage/Tacoma-Pierce County Equity Network, Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, Urban Habitat, Services for Independent Living, and WISDOM—had received grants of up to $25,000 from TEC in April to support projects that advance affordable and accessible transportation in their communities, making this convening an opportunity to share successes, learn from each other, and plan for the months of advocacy ahead.
35 Years Later: The U.S. Still Hasn’t Ratified CEDAW, But Local Activists are Working to Make a Difference for Women and Girls
Though we’re sometimes regarded as an exemplar of human rights, the United States stands out internationally today for one disappointing – and shameful – reason.
That’s because 35 years after President Carter signed the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), an international human rights treaty intended to bring equality to women around the world, the United States still hasn’t ratified it.
By Hunter Davis, a Summer 2015 Leadership Conference Education Fund Intern Earlier this month, the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) held a briefing – and released a groundbreaking new report – on the cumulative costs of abusive lending, a ...
By Julia Burzynski, a Summer 2015 Leadership Conference Education Fund Intern During the month of June, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights partnered with the Immigrant Heritage Month Campaign to celebrate and commemorate the history...
By Hunter Davis and Matthew Meyer, Summer 2015 Leadership Conference Education Fund Interns In a historic 5-4 decision on June 26, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges. The ruling extended the rig...