Issues

Voting Rights

Share This

Democrats have a long and proud history of fighting for voting rights that continues to this day. And while we've made significant progress in securing the right to vote for all eligible Americans, many voters still face difficulties in the voting process, from registering to casting a ballot to having their votes counted. Those often disproportionately affected are communities of color, young people, the elderly, low-income individuals, and disabled voters, as well as military members and veterans. In many parts of the country, voters are underserved by a lack of polling places, outdated voting machines, and unnecessarily complicated laws.

As Republican politicians try to make it harder to vote, Democrats are working to expand access to the polls. And we won't stop working to promote a system of elections that is accessible, open, and fair — a system that ensures that every eligible person can cast a vote and that every lawfully cast vote is counted.

To learn more about why voting rights matter, visit: www.votingrightsmatter.com.

Recent Updates
  • Extreme Voter Suppression Laws

    Voter suppression isn't just happening in North Carolina. It's happening in Republican-led states all across the country. Join the Democrats and fight back.

    Voter suppression isn't just happening in North Carolina. It's happening in Republican-led states all across the country.

    Fight Back

  • Really? Governor Scott’s Renewed Efforts to Purge Florida Voters Not Necessary

    Governor Scott is back at it.  In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down key provisions of the Voting Rights Act, Governor Scott announced he is taking another shot at purging Florida’s voter rolls of ‘noncitizens.’

    Just to be clear, we’re talking about Republican purging efforts botched so badly that Governor Scott himself had to vote by provisional ballot in 2006 because the purge had determined he was dead.

    Seriously.

    You’d think that would have been a wake-up call that this sort of purging is deeply flawed and unnecessary.

    Governor Scott and his Republican Administration claim this is simply an effort to suppress voter fraud, but Floridians know better.  This shameful attempt to shrink the electorate was highly controversial in the months leading up to the 2012 presidential election, when the Department of Justice sued the state of Florida for attempting to disqualify thousands of voters less than 90 days before an election.

    The ability to cast a vote and have one’s vote counted is central to the functioning of our democracy.  But too often, Republicans have systematically turned how ballots are cast into a manufactured issue in swing states across the country.  Too often, these Republican-led so-called anti-voter fraud efforts are nothing more than thinly veiled attempts to disqualify voters that reek of politics.

    Such is the case in Florida.  Of the 180,000 potential noncitizens identified for purging in 2012, less than 0.02% were actually ineligible. Nearly 60 percent of those included in the initial list were Hispanic – meanwhile, Hispanic voters make up only 13 percent of Florida’s electorate.

    Unfortunately for Governor Scott and national Republicans, Florida’s voters won’t be fooled again.   Attempts like what is now happening in Florida, and what is happening in many states across the country, go against the spirit of our democracy and are exactly why Congress must answer President Obama’s call to restore the Voting Rights Act to its full authority.

  • Donna Brazile: Voting Rights Act Needs Help

    In honor of the 48th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, DNC Vice Chairwoman, Donna Brazile penned this op-ed on the need to protect voting rights. Read the excerpt below and visit www.votingrightsmatter.com to learn more.

    "On August 6, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signedthe Voting Rights Act and said, "There is no room for injustice anywhere in the American mansion."

    "In the 48 years since its enactment, the Voting Rights Act has helped secure the right to vote for millions of men and women in our country – dismantling the injustice of preventing eligible citizens from casting their vote — and our democracy has been made stronger for it. But now the promise and purpose of the Voting Rights Act is in jeopardy.

    "I'm not naïve enough to believe the Voting Rights Act rooted out all injustice — after all, I saw firsthand what my sister had to go through voting in Florida in 2000 — but we know from experience the Voting Rights Act has provided a critical step forward for millions of African American and other voters.

    "Too many voters in our American family overcame many obstacles, and in some cases gave their lives, to obtain the right to vote — a sacred right that cannot and should not be put at risk."

    Click here to read more.

  • Making real the promises of the 14th Amendment

    On this day, 145 years ago, the 14th Amendment became the law of the land — addressing citizenship rights and equal protection of the laws. And while it was was far from perfect, the amendment was the first step in making it illegal to deny the right to vote based on race.

    The 14th amendment had big implications. It ignited the suffrage movement, ended segregation in our schools through Brown vs. Board of Education and provided the justification for Reynolds v. Sims — the landmark Supreme Court decision that established voting as a fundamental right.  As the court explained, "The right to vote freely for the candidate of one's choice is of the essence of a democratic society, and any restrictions on that right strike at the heart of representative government."

    But even with these amendments and rulings, there was and still is voter discrimination and disenfranchisement. Poll taxes, literacy requirements and most recently voter ID laws — These are all tactics that have been deployed to restrict voting rights to certain populations. And some states have a stronger history than others. I know. I saw it first-hand as a little girl growing up in Louisiana.

    That's why the Voting Rights Act is so important. It made real the promises of the 14th Amendment and held states accountable for acts of voter suppression by requiring federal approval of any measures that could limit and restrict voting rights. But sadly, the Supreme Court's recent ruling dismantled a key provision of the law. But what's worse is the speed at which Republicans are moving to pass restrictive voting laws in the aftermath of the decision.

    These actions aren't just bad for the constituents they represent, they directly violate the principles our country was founded on and are a slap in the face to anyone who's ever fought for voting rights.

    As we commemorate the implementation of the 14th amendment today, let's take a minute and remember its intention — to expand access to voting to EVERY American. Let's fix the Voting Rights Act and stop voter suppression wherever it exists.

  • LOAD MORE
Protecting the Vote The Real Cost of Photo ID Laws: Read the Report
Recent Action
Vetoing suppressive photo identification laws
May 26, 2011
Gov. Dayton of Minnesota vetoed S0509, a law that would have required government-issued photo ID in order to vote.
Vetoing suppressive photo identification laws
Gov. Dayton of Minnesota vetoed S0509, a law that would have required government-issued photo ID in order to vote.
Milestones