The Right to Vote

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.

People For the American Way President Kathryn Kolbert's Remarks on 2008 Election Integrity

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.

People For the American Way Mourns Stephanie Tubbs Jones

People For the American Way joins Ohio and the rest of the nation mourning the untimely death of Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones. Among her extraordinary record of courage and leadership, we will remember Rep. Tubbs Jones especially for her steadfast commitment to protecting all Americans' right to vote. She was a courageous advocate for all Americans, especially the disenfranchised, as evidenced by her willingness to stand up for those whose votes had not been counted when problems surfaced after the 2004 presidential election.

Republicans Block Emergency Ballot Bill in the House

In response to the failed vote on Rep. Zoe Lofgren's Emergency Ballot Bill, People For the American Way Director of Public Policy Tanya Clay House released the following statement:

Court Affirms the Right to Vote, Rejects Challenge to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act

A three-judge District Court in Washington, D.C. unanimously rejected the Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District No. 1’s (NAMUDNO) argument that it is exempt from Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA).

People For the American Way Praises Governor Sebelius’ Veto of House Bill 2019

Today, Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius vetoed House Bill 2019. If signed by the govenor, the bill would have instituted a burdensome proof of citizenship and identification requirement, potentially disenfranchising thousands of Kansas’ elderly, disabled, minority, and low-income voters. People For the American Way Senior Vice President and National Field Director Mary Jean Collins today praised Gov. Sebelius for standing up for the rights of Kansas voters, and hailed the veto as a victory for all voters.

People For the American Way Responds to Hans von Spakovsky’s Withdrawal of His Nomination to the FEC

Following Hans von Spakovsky’s withdrawal of his nomination to the Federal Election Commission, Tanya Clay House, Director of Public Policy at People For the American Way said, “It’s clear that Hans von Spakovsky, who worked under former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, was not an appropriate choice to sit on the Federal Election Commission, or any commission charged with overseeing Americans’ voting rights and fair election practices.

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