Since 1920, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has worked tirelessly to champion populations who have traditionally been denied their rights. Today, with more than 1.5 million members, nearly 300 staff attorneys, thousands of volunteer attorneys, and offices throughout the nation, the ACLU continues to vigorously defend individual freedoms.
ACLU’s Voting Rights Project
Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy and the fundamental right upon which all of our civil liberties rest. Established in 1965, the ACLU Voting Rights Project has worked to protect the gains in political participation won by racial and language minorities since passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act (VRA). Since inception, the Voting Rights Project has litigated over 300 voting rights cases and has aggressively and successfully challenged efforts that dilute minority voting strength or obstruct the ability of minority communities to elect candidates of their choice.
Politicians across the country continue to engage in voter suppression. Such efforts include implementing documentary proof-of-citizenship requirements for voting, shortening early registration periods, eliminating same-day registration, purging voter rolls, and other measures designed to restrict voting rights, especially for vulnerable citizens like people of color, the poor, students, and people with disabilities.
The ACLU is fighting back against these activities by litigating voter suppression and minority vote dilution cases in over a dozen states, from coast to coast, in every region of the country. They are the only civil rights organization committed to defending the voting rights of all Americans, with legislative and litigation capacity in all 50 states. In addition to their litigation docket, they are working with affiliates to advocate for policies that make it easier for Americans to vote, focusing their efforts on election-day registration (EDR) and accessible online voter registration. EDR is especially high-impact: Research consistently demonstrates that it boosts voter participation by as much as 5–10 percent, which easily exceeds the margin of victory in a number of key states in the 2016 general election.
At our November 2018 Board of Directors meeting, the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation awarded the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation a grant in the amount of $250,000 in support of its Voting Rights Project work. The foundation is proud to support ACLU, its members, staff, and volunteers!
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