The Right to Vote

Appeals Court Strikes Down Arizona Proof of Citizenship Law

In a victory for voting rights advocates yesterday, a federal appeals court in Phoenix struck down a key part of an Arizona law requiring voters to produce proof of citizenship before registering to vote

Promoting the Right to Vote: Enfranchising Our Nation’s Capital

Nearly 600,000 Americans live in Washington, DC, and they deserve the right to representation in Congress like everyone else. We must take steps to fully enfranchise Americans living in our nation’s capital.

PFAW: Where We've Been and Where We're Going

The recent and unparalleled resurgence of right-wing extremism in todays politics concerns us deeply. But thanks to three decades of PFAW activists, we can meet any challenge.

Restore My Vote Campaign

Information about Clemency

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.

Indiana Court Declares State's Voter ID Law Unconstitutional

Following the Indiana Court of Appeals unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel that the state’s voter ID law is unconstitutional, People For the American Way Director of Public Policy Tanya Clay House said, "It’s been a long time coming, but this is exciting news for Indiana voters and all of us concerned with protecting the right to vote of all Americans. Indiana's voter identification law was the most stringent in the country, and the Indiana Court of Appeals' decision to strike it down is correct. The court rightfully recognized the need to ensure voter security for all Indiana voters by reexamining the voter identification law, which would disproportionately harm minorities, the poor and the elderly."

Supreme Court Upholds Section 5 of Voting Rights Act

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.

PFAW Urges Florida Legislature to Reject Restrictive Registration and Voter ID Rules

Bill would ban ID frequently used by seniors, force voters who have recently moved to vote on ballots that often go uncounted, and make it harder for groups registering voters

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.

DC Voting Rights Act Passes in the Senate

Statement of Tanya Clay House, PFAW Public Policy Director, on the news of Senate passage of the D.C. Voting Rights Act: "This is an historic victory for DC voting rights activists, the 600,000 District residents, and all who care about democracy. I'm proud that People For could play a substantial part in helping to enfranchise the 600,000 residents of the District of Columbia. We hope District residents will not have to wait much longer for voting representation on important issues of the day."

Senators Clear Path Toward Granting Full Representation For District Residents

Following today’s 62-34 cloture vote on the District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act (S. 160), a bill that would give DC a representative with full voting rights in the House, PFAW President Kathryn Kolbert released the following statement: "I'm thrilled that the Senate finally seems to be ready to pass this legislation. It's disgraceful that citizens of our nation's capital have been denied a vote on critical issues of the day from equal pay for equal work to the important economic recovery act. Today's cloture vote is an important step forward."

High Court to Hear Voting Rights Case

The Supreme Court today announced that it would hear Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District No. 1 v. Mukasey. People For the American Way, on behalf of its members, is an intervenor defendant in the case. PFAW President Kathryn Kolbert issued the following statement: "I'm extremely disappointed that the Supreme Court has decided not to affirm outright the lower court decision upholding the constitutionality of the pre-clearance provision of the Voting Rights Act. It's another reminder of how far to the right the Court has moved that this decades old civil rights legislation is now in jeopardy despite having been found constitutional by the very same court in the past. The Voting Rights Act is a landmark in our nation's struggle to move beyond the poisonous racism of our past, and it remains a necessary protection for vulnerable communities."

People For Memo On Election Day '08 Voting Issues

While right-wing partisans tried to whip up a frenzy over non-existent voter fraud issues, thousands of eligible Americans still experienced challenges at the polls in part due to an organized effort to disenfranchise voters. These challenges included voter purges; voter intimidation and suppression including misleading fliers and misinformation from elections officials; challenges to their right to vote by partisan operatives, and absentee ballot problems.

Documenting Democracy in 2008

People For the American Way is participating in the nonpartisan Video the Vote project, which aims to document democracy in action on Election D

Voting Rights Experts Available on Election Day to Discuss the Impact of Voter Suppression and Intimidation, Voter ID Laws

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

Know Your Voting Rights!

Know your voting rights! Voter ID toolkits from People For the American Way.

Protecting the Vote in 2008

2008 Election Protection activities -- you have the right to vote!

Voting Rights Opponent Appeals to Supreme Court

As expected, the Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District Number One (NAMUDNO), a public utility district in Travis County, Tex., filed a direct appeal Sept. 8, 2008 with the Supreme Court from a unanimous federal district ruling that it is exempt from Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

ACORN Hit by Threats and Vandalism in Wake of McCain Comments

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.

Supreme Court Defends Voter Registration In Ohio

In response to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to lift a federal judge's order that would have required Ohio election officials to set up new procedures to verify voter registration across the state in the weeks before Election Day, People For the American Way President Kathryn Kolbert issued the following statement: "This is a good decision for democracy. The facts are clear: there isn't a shred of evidence of organized voter fraud in this country, and GOP efforts to prevent it only risk disenfranchising American citizens who have every right to cast a ballot. The 'voter fraud' fraud has been pushed by the right wing to help justify draconian restrictions on the right to vote."

Right Wing Smear on ACORN Leads to Outrageous McCain Debate Claim

Media Uncritically Recites Right-Wing Talking Points, Turns A Blind Eye To Real Voter Suppression

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.

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