Working with faith communities to protect the vote

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As a part of our faith outreach efforts, the DNC hosted a nonpartisan conference call earlier today with faith leaders from across the nation, focusing on the very real threat to voting rights that we're seeing across the country. Rev. Gabriel Salguero of New Jersey and Rev. Otis Moss Jr. of Ohio drew attention to the threat these efforts pose to members of the Latino and African-American communities in particular.

This year we have witnessed the most widespread proliferation of regressive election laws in 50 years—a trend that, according to the non-partisan Advancement Project, threatens to disenfranchise millions of eligible Americans. From stringent voter ID requirements in states like Wisconsin, to restrictions on voter registration drives in Florida, to efforts to roll back the early vote process in Ohio, state legislators across the country are seeking to enact—and, in 13 states, have already passed—harmful laws that erode at our most basicdemocratic right: the right to vote. These new laws negatively impact all voters, but their burdens fall most heavily on certain communities—including students, the elderly, African Americans, and Latino voters. For the first time since the Civil Rights Era, the right to vote has been constricted, rather than expanded.

This Sunday, November 6, marks one year from the 2012 election. To mark the occasion, we're inviting faith leaders to share portions of a letter I've written—in both English and Spanish translations—with their congregants to shed light on what promises to be a genuine threat to democracy. As more and more Americans become aware of the impact that these voter suppression measures are having, we'll continue to partner with faith communities to face this challenge at the ballot box.

Read the full letter in English and Spanish.