Red to Blue: Voter Access and
Why is voter access and empowerment important?
Voter suppression is a widespread and recurring problem in the United States, especially in areas with a high percentage of African-Americans, Latinos, and other marginalized groups. Voter suppression can take many forms, including district gerrymandering, creating barriers to the voter registration process (e.g., by creating stricter voter ID laws and removing people from the voting register), and restricting people’s ability to vote (e.g., by decreasing the number of polling stations and changing the times they are open or their locations). During the 2018 elections, severe voter suppression occurred in several states with competitive political races, including Georgia, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, and North Dakota.
what is nope neighbors doing?
In 2019, NOPE is raising money for groups dedicated to advancing democracy by ensuring free and fair elections for all Americans. These organizations are conducting a wide range of activities including working for automatic voter registration and same-day registration, providing adequate early voting opportunities, protecting against improper purging of voter rolls, requiring states to upgrade and secure their election systems, restoring voting rights to those with past criminal convictions, preventing partisan gerrymandering through independent redistricting commissions, restoring the Voting Rights Act, and giving voting rights and Congressional representation to DC residents.
We devote a portion of our monthly NOPE meetings to educating ourselves about one specific voter empowerment issue and the organization that we are supporting that focuses on that issue. We invite a leader from that organization to speak at our meeting, in person or by Skype.
what can you do?
You can contribute to one or all of the following voter access and empowerment groups. These organizations are active in states (and Washington D.C.) that have a history of voter suppression, will have a Senate race in 2020, and/or are home to large numbers of underrepresented minorities.
Fair Fight Action, led by Stacey Abrams, is working to make sure that every citizen has the opportunity to vote in Georgia. It promotes fair elections in the state, provides voter education and outreach, engages in targeted voter registration, and lobbies the state legislature to support election reforms. Combating voter suppression in Georgia is critical to flipping the Senate in 2020.
DC Vote is coordinating with other local and national organizations to fight for statehood for the District of Columbia. More than 700,000 people, about 48% of whom are African-American, live in DC. Our population is greater than that of Vermont and Wyoming, and just a little smaller than Alaska, Delaware, and North and South Dakota. Residents fulfill all the obligations of U.S. citizenship – we pay federal taxes and serve in the military. But we have no representation in Congress and we do not have the right to govern ourselves – Congress can reverse D.C. laws and voter-approved ballots, threatening DC's Sanctuary City status, our new death with dignity law, and our abortion rights and gun laws. This is an issue of voter suppression. For more information about why we need to support DC statehood and what it entails.
CASA in Action is the Mid-Atlantic region's largest electoral organization fighting for immigrant rights. In Virginia, the organization mobilizes people in Latino communities and other communities of color to vote. It also supports the Democratic congressional delegation in Virginia and seeks to flip toss-up congressional seats. More information is coming soon on how to donate to CASA in Action.