In April of 2007, Florida took a significant step toward full democracy for ex-offenders seeking to have their right to vote restored. Governor Charlie Crist persuaded the state's Clemency Board to adopt new regulations. The new rules "automatically" restore the rights of ex-offenders who have committed non-violent crimes, have completed their sentences and probation, and paid victim restitution.
The Supreme Court today rejected a challenge to Section Five of the Voting Rights Act in the case Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District No. 1 v. Holder (NAMUDNO). People For the American Way Executive Vice President Marge Baker issued the following statement:
"We are very pleased with the outcome of this case. The Court today preserved all aspects of the Voting Rights Act and its ability to ensure the full and equal right to vote which is at the core of our democracy.
Tallahassee, FL—With two weeks left in the legislative session, members of the Florida Legislature are working hard to pass a bill that could suppress the vote of hundreds of thousands of Florida voters, and criminalize well-meaning activists who want to bring more people to the polls.
People For the American Way is one of the nation's leading advocates on voting rights including solutions to voter suppression and intimidation tactics, and federal election reform.
Kathryn Kolbert is President of People For the American Way and People For Foundation. Recognized repeatedly by The National Law Journal
People For the American Way President Kathryn Kolbert released the following statement:
"On Wednesday night, John McCain outrageously claimed before a national television audience that ACORN was 'maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy.' In the two days since, the community organizing group has suffered vandalism at its Boston and Seattle offices and has faced an onslaught of threats and hostile emails.
People for the American Way (PFAW) will take out a full-page ad (PDF link) in The New York Times charging the right wing with misleading the public in the ACORN voter registration controversy. The ad also challenges the press for failing to examine the fabrications made against the voter registration group and turning a blind-eye toward the right wing's ongoing effort to disenfranchise voters.
People For is extremely concerned with the fairness of our elections. That's why we are a founding member of the Election Protection coalition. And that's why we're extremely concerned about the Right Wing's diversionary and desperate political attacks on ACORN. This ploy is designed to intimidate voters, cast doubt on the integrity of the elections, and make it harder for certain people to cast a ballot in the November election.