Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Policy Summit on Voting Rights Project

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Beryl Chong) – Marking an important milestone in fulfilling American Values First’s vision for its nationwide Voting Rights Project, a select group of legislators comprising the Project’s Task Force will convene a Policy Summit today in Washington, DC to develop a policy agenda to guide legislative efforts in all 50 states.

Moderated by Georgia House Democratic Leader Stacey Abrams, lawmakers will participate in a comprehensive discussion about voting rights and share information about the successes, challenges and opportunities they face in their states.

“Our mission for this Policy Summit is to develop a policy ‘tool-kit,’ from which legislators can cultivate effective strategies and advance legislative initiatives to increase access to the ballot box,” said American Values First President Michael Sargeant. “Today’s summit will empower, mobilize, and provide support as lawmakers prepare to take up this important fight in the coming legislative session.”

“The Voting Rights Project’s Policy Summit provides an opportunity for legislators to envision how other states’ success might become their own,” said Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams. “The policy agenda we develop today will help us take up the fight for a voting rights strategy that can be individualized to work in every state.”

The summit comes at a crucial time as state legislatures have swiftly enacted laws that create barriers to the voting booth. In 2011 and 2012 alone, more than 180 bills were introduced in more than 40 states – most of which would prevent many Americans from accessing the ballot box. That trend has continued in 2013, with 33 states introducing at least 90 pieces of restrictive legislation. As a result, today, 30 states have imposed stricter voter ID laws, cut early voting days or hours, closed polling stations, introduced two-tier voting systems and/or eliminated same-day registration and absentee voting.

The Voting Rights Project is an initiative of American Values First, a non-profit created to engage state legislators in advancing bills that will preserve the right to vote for all Americans, even as states endeavor to weaken voting rights protections.

No comments:

Post a Comment