Protecting and Expanding the Right to Vote
Fundamental to a healthy democracy is the right of all eligible citizens to participate freely in fair elections.
However, conservative assaults on voting rights have only accelerated in the wake of the Supreme Court’s misguided decision in Shelby County v. Holder, which gutted the landmark Voting Rights Act. Millions of citizens from historically disenfranchised constituencies – African Americans, Latinos, students, low-income people, and others – now face mounting obstacles to casting their ballot.
A larming voter suppression tactics include Voter ID, gerrymandered districts, proof-of-citizenship requirements, long lines at reduced polling locations with limited hours, and many other restrictive policies. Concerns become even more elevated in a high stakes election season, and the numbers of such policies are rising fast – sixteen states added new restrictions in 2016 alone.
Fortunately, WGF grantees are vigilant in the battle to protect voting rights. They deploy aggressive legal action, policy advocacy, communications campaigns, and grassroots movement-building to keep the war on voting in the public eye and to engage new constituencies like environmentalists in defending democracy.
These visionary organizations are also driving game-changing affirmative reforms such as automatic and on-line voter registration, all designed to help fulfill the promise of democracy by making voting universal and accessible to all eligible citizens