Our ability to vote is under siege by Trump and the Republican party. It’s critical that we pay attention to what is happening so we can push back when warranted, and celebrate the voting rights wins when they happen.
With that, here’s some recent voting rights news:
In North Carolina, a panel of judges denied the Republicans attempt to reinstate the voter ID law. Although some lawsuits are still outstanding, there will be no voter ID required for the November election.
Arkansas voters will see a ballot measure this fall which is seeking to establish an independent redistricting commission to redraw congressional and legislative district lines (which happens in 2021, following the census.) There is ongoing litigation that might take this measure off the ballot, but for now, voters will have the opportunity to vote for it.
In Georgia, two nonprofit organizations have mailed absentee ballot applications to roughly 2 million voters. They focused on people of color, unmarried women and young people.
A federal court in West Virginia has struck down the law that gives the party that has won the most recent presidential election the top spot on the ballot. The court agreed with the Democrats who said that the law gave an unfair advantage to the Republicans.
In Indiana, a federal court has ruled that voters must be notified and given a chance to fix any problems with their mail ballot signatures instead of rejecting them without notice.
Maryland is setting up 270 drop boxes across the state so voters have the option to deliver their ballots without relying on the postal service.
Utah’s GOP-led state legislature has passed a bill that expands access to the ballot in time for the November election. Counties will have the authority to create drive-through voting centers as well as establish drop boxes for voters who want to return their absentee ballots that way.
NBA Superstar Lebron James has launched a major campaign with his new voting rights organization, More Than A Vote, to recruit poll workers for vulnerable Black communities.
It’s important to be in contact with your local state representatives if you want to see further voting rights reforms in your state. You can find the contact information for your reps in your state legislature HERE, and your election officials HERE.
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