Voting Rights News
“No right is more precious in a free country than that of having a voice in the election of those who make the laws under which, as good citizens, we must live.”
Wesberry v. Sanders, 376 U.S. 1, 17 (1964)
SCSJ’s voting rights work protects the rights of communities of color by defending the Voting Rights Act through fair redistricting and minimizing elections administration practices that threaten free democratic participation in elections such as photo ID requirements, restrictions on voter registration and early voting and Election Day voter challenges.
- Broaden citizen understanding of participation in the democratic process.
- Give people of color, who are not afforded fair representation, a voice in the redistricting process.
- Prevent the dilution of cohesive racial minority groups through packing voters of color into only a few districts, or cracking their neighborhoods among several districts.
- Help underrepresented constituencies to achieve favorable public policy outcomes on a range of issues, from education to health care and beyond
- Ensure transparency, accountability and meaningful public participation in order to promote the legitimacy of the governing bodies subsequently elected.
SCSJ believes in zealous advocacy in the redistricting process to ensure the fair and full participation of all voters. We advocate for fair redistricting from local town halls to the United States Supreme Court. SCSJ represents nonpartisan groups and people of color in local and statewide redistricting laws across the South. We are currently active in litigation in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas, and have represented clients before the United States Supreme Court. Read more about our major cases »
SCSJ believes voting rights secure the voice of people of color in critical decisions that affect local communities and create progressive social change. We provide counsel to local community groups regarding redistricting and speak on behalf of clients at local town hall meetings and legislative committees.
- Census and Redistricting Institute (CCRI) (2010) – SCSJ created the Census and Redistricting Institute (CCRI) to provide individuals and community organizations with the tools needed to participate in the redistricting process and to advocate effectively for fair representation. You can learn more about CCRI.
- Fair Redistricting Collaborative – In January 2011, SCSJ convened the Fair Redistricting Collaborative, a joint project of three non-profit organizations (SCSJ, One Voice and Southern Echo) that protects the voting strength of African-American, Latino, Native American, and Asian voters. The initiative utilizes strictly non-partisan, education-based and data driven support to community-based organizations and voting rights activists. For more information about the Collaborative, You can learn more about the Collaborative.
- SOLVE – SCSJ is a member of Southern Leadership for Voter Engagement (SOLVE), a multi-state network formed in 2013, to collaborate and share best practices in multidisciplinary advocacy, sound grassroots mobilization, and legislative and legal strategies to ensure fair and equitable voting practices. SCSJ takes part in SOLVE’s annual convening. To learn more about SOLVE’s work, visit their website here.
Fighting Voter Suppression
SCSJ’s election administration work focuses on protecting access to the ballot and monitoring legislative initiatives aimed at requiring photo identification at the polls, restricting voter registration, or otherwise disenfranchising voters. In addition to trainings on advocating for more early voting sites, SCSJ provided legal support to help enforce state laws regarding the voting rights of persons with felony convictions or misdemeanants who are in jail.
SCSJ strives to link claims for minority representation with claims for fuller participation by all citizens. For example, voter ID requirements hinder effective participation by numerous groups, including the elderly and persons with disabilities. By demystifying the political and legal processes around redistricting, and providing models for more inclusive democratic structures, we hope to generate broader policy reforms that improve the democratic process overall. You can read more about SCSJ’s work against voter suppression.
Ensuring Fair Elections
SCSJ represents individual voters and civic engagement groups to make sure elections are fair and every eligible vote is counted. You can learn more about these cases.