There is no right more important than the right to vote. As the Supreme Court said a long time ago, this is because the right to vote is preservative of all other rights. The voting booth is the one place where all are presumed equal, yet the reality is that the playing field is far from level. Citizens are still denied an equal opportunity to cast a ballot and have it counted, especially voters of color. Advancement Project’s Voter Protection Program works to identify and eliminate systemic barriers to voting in the hopes of achieving a more just democracy – one in which all voices have an opportunity to be heard.
Advancement Project is actively working to fight against voter suppression and photo ID laws across the nation. Advancement Project recently filed a lawsuit in North Carolina after the Governor signed HB 589 into law, a sweeping legislation that enacts dozens of changes that will make it harder to vote. At the Presidential Commission on Election Administration hearing in Philadelphia, Advancement Project submitted testimony on the impact of photo ID, language access, overuse of provisional ballots and more. In Wisconsin, Advancement Project is challenging Wisconsin’s anti-voting law in federal court.
Years of fighting for fair elections on behalf of voters of color has confirmed our belief that the work must be ongoing, and continue between election cycles. Sustained, consistent voting rights work allows us to influence election administration from voter registration to Election Day and the laws and policies under which these processes operate. We understand that key decisions are made at the state, county and municipal levels. Many problems and potential problems are best addressed with local leadership. Advancement Project works in collaboration with local and national partners to forge the relationships necessary to advance election reform.
Advancement Project brings its considerable experience and expertise in voting rights to the ground where the decisions are made. We work to educate voters and lawmakers, influence policy, expose problems and advocate for reforms. We monitor election administration at the state and local levels to expose problems early in the election cycle and work with officials and community partners to remove obstacles before voters show up at the polls. We build the legal and procedural framework necessary to carry out long-range voter protection work. In collaboration with local organizations and stakeholders, we monitor and seek to ensure that election officials establish and implement fair and effective election administration procedures on a comprehensive set of issues, including voter registration, list maintenance (a.k.a. purging), poll worker training, allocation of resources to election precincts, provisional ballots and challenges. While we seek to solve problems through cooperative relationships with election officials, we use legal, communications, and other advocacy methods as needed.