National Ad Launches Right To Vote Campaign Featuring 102-Year-Old Voter


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Contact: Cynthia Gordy,, 202-728-9557




Efforts Mount to Roll Back Voting Rights


Advancement Project, a next-generation civil rights organization, is launching a national television ad to call attention to the need for enshrining an explicit, affirmative right to vote in federal law. This step would finally ensure that all Americans have access to elections that are free, fair and accessible.


“Voting is the one time we are all equal,” said Penda Hair, Advancement Project co-director. “No matter what gender, race, age or income status, we all are supposed to have an equal voice at the ballot box. That right has been under a sustained and unprecedented attack for partisan gain, and it is critical that we protect the cherished foundation of our democracy by ensuring that the right to vote is explicitly enshrined under law.”


“We have 13,000 different voting jurisdictions and elections are run 13,000 different ways,” said Judith Browne Dianis, co-director of Advancement Project. “We vitally need national standards to ensure that every American who wants to cast a ballot is never denied that right.”


This year alone, 30 states have introduced restrictive voting bills that make it harder for veterans, seniors, young people, people of color and people with disabilities to vote. Virginia and Arkansas both passed restrictive photo ID laws this session, while Virginia also passed legislation placing new requirements and penalties on voter registration drives. In North Carolina, a state with some of the most successful voting laws in the nation, right-wing lawmakers are poised to cut early voting, pass restrictive photo ID requirements, and place severe restrictions on voting rights for people with past felony convictions, among other barriers. In Florida, which has one of the country’s most egregious voting rights records, mobilized citizens are already pushing back with a Right to Vote campaign.


Most Americans are surprised to learn that there is no provision in the Constitution or federal law that affirmatively guarantees all citizens the right to vote. In fact, the United States is one of only 11 of the 119 democratic countries in the world that do not explicitly provide the right to vote in their constitutions.


The national ad features Desiline Victor, the 102 year old woman who stood in line for hours to vote and received a standing ovation at the State of the Union Address this year. The ad is running on national television.