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VOTER SUPPRESSION AND THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON VOTING RIGHTS


The right to vote is a fundamental Constitutional right and a guiding principle of American democracy.  Yet this right is increasingly being put to the test this election year, challenged by voter suppression, uncertain access to the polls, accessibility of ballots, vote by mail restrictions, COVID-19 and other issues.

For its second ClassACT ZOOM Forum on April 23, 2020, ClassACT HR73 and its Voter & Civic Engagement initiative assembled a terrific line up of guests to discuss these challenges.

We “live-tweeted” during the forum, and encourage you to follow @classactHR73@JusticeAid_, and the handles of featured guests and their respective organizations below.

VIDEOS FROM CLASSACT ZOOM FORUM ON VOTER SUPPRESSION AND VOTING RIGHTS

We have created 10 videos from this forum--one of the whole event, and 9 others, divided by topic. They are all available by clicking on the playlist in the YouTube video screen below. The playlist is very hard to see! You will find it along the top of the screen just to the right of the title of the forum.  It looks like this . 

Click on the ≡ button. That will open a drop down menu. You can then scroll down the menu and choose individual videos to play. 

OUR PANELISTS + CALLS TO ACTION

KEVIN D. BENISH

@kdbenish @nyulaw

Kevin Benish, Lawyer and Adjunct professor at NYU Law School, has worked in Wisconsin the past 10 years. In August 2020, he begins a clerkship on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals with HR ’73 classmate, the Honorable Susan Carney

CALL

  • Call your State and Local officials to make a Vote by Mail option available to all American Citizens and send in your personal application now.
ACTION: Register to vote by mail at vote.org or usvotefoundation.org.
    • Who to contact state by state to make sure there is a Vote by Mail plan in place here.
    • Click here to see who the elected officials in your state are.
    • Here are some tips for writing to your elected officials.

HELEN HERSHKOFF

@nyulaw

Helen Hershkoff is a HR ’73 classmate and Herbert M. and Svetlana Wachtell Professor of Constitutional Law and Civil Liberties at NYU Law School, as well as the Co-Director of the Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Liberties Program.

CALL

  • Spread the truth.

ACTIONWrite op-eds in your local paper, advocate on social media.

  • For guidance click here.

JULIE M. HOUK

@JulieHoukJD @866OURVOTE @LawyersComm

Julie Houk is Managing Counsel for the Voting Rights Project at Election Protection of Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights under Law

CALL

  • There are many volunteer opportunities available to help voters and to advocate for positive changes to protect the vote. These opportunities include:
ACTIONSVolunteering with the non-partisan Election Protection Program. Legal and non-legal volunteers can sign up to volunteer at 866OurVote.org
  • Volunteering here to be a poll worker to fill gaps created by chronic shortages of trained poll workers, particularly bilingual poll workers, in many jurisdictions.
  • If you have legal experience, volunteering here to monitor local or state election boards to identify potentially negative or harmful voting changes which create barriers to the ballot box and to organize advocacy efforts around these issues.

STEPHEN MILLIKEN

@JusticeAid_

Steve Milliken is an HR ’73 classmate and CEO & Founder of JusticeAid.

CALL

  • Donate money to non-profits working on the cutting edge of preserving the right to vote. Mobilize and empower the next generation of voters.
ACTION To donate to the JusticeAID beneficiary, Election Protectionclick here
  • To learn more about the upcoming JusticeAid Concert & Public Forum, click  here, and to join JusticeAid's mailing list click here.

MYRNA PÉREZ

@myrna_perez_ @BrennanCenter

Myrna Pérez is the Director of the Voting Rights & Elections Project and Deputy Director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice

CALL

  • Call or write your congressional representatives and ask them to allocate money to states to prepare for safe elections on state primary and national election days.
ACTION: Let Congress know we need funding to protect our elections and our democracy: Petition here.
    • For a state by state breakdown on what advocates should push for (including Vote by Mail), click here
    • Brennan Center “Buckets of Advocacy” here.

ClassACT HR ‘73
Classacthr73@gmail.com

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