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Voter Restoration

The Power of the Youth Vote

ISU student holding a Reggie Redbird voting sticker
The largISU student holding a Reggie Redbird voting stickerest voting population in the U.S. are the youth. They are also more educated and civically engaged than past generations. Young adults have the numbers and interest in voting, but voter turnout among this group has remained low. Voting needs to be more accessible, so that young voters have the opportunity to be engaged in our democracy.

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Tribal Communities Fighting to Vote

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Native Americans have the lowest voter turnout among all groups. Even though citizenship was finally granted to Native Americans in 1924, there is an ongoing fight to ensure Native American voting rights. This is especially true among those who live in tribal reservations, where they have unique factors that impact the ability to vote. The laws and policies implemented around voting make it substantially difficult for Native Americans to engage in the democratic process.

The Latinx Voting Movement

laptop with Voto Latino website

The Latinx community is fighting for their voices to be heard in our democracy. Actions such as changing poll locations, photo I.D. requirements, and the purging of voter rolls, are having negative impacts on Latinx citizens' ability to vote. However, groups such as Voto Latino are committed to empowering and educating Latinx voters. A simple way this is done is registering as many eligible Latinx voters as possible.

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Voter Restoration and the War on Drugs

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The aim of the War on Drugs is to stop the trade, distribution, and use of illegal drugs by increasing prison sentences for users and dealers. Black communities have been hit the hardest by the policies enacted from this campaign, even though White communities have had similar rates of illegal drug activity. This has contributed to the boom in our prison population, where Black people are disproportionately represented. This, in turn, has impacted the voting rights of numerous Black individuals. Decades later, this campaign continues to disenfranchise minorities, while there has been little to no reduction of illegal drug activity in the U.S.

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Black America and the Evolution of Voter Suppression

Historical photo of Black woman voting

Voter suppression is a tactic used to discourage voters from voting. While past tactics were overt, such as poll taxes or physical violence, voter suppression has evolved and continues to disproportionately impact people of color. Today's tactics, like strict voter I.D. or laws limiting early voting, make it harder to exercise the right to vote.

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The 19th Amendment and Women of Color

Votes for Women banner

It's been 100 years since the 19th Amendment was ratified in the U.S. and it's important to acknowledge that racism ran rampant throughout this movement. Women of color were marginalized by white suffragists, who refused to acknowledge their concerns about race. Some suffragists even used white supremacy as a tool to further the cause for women's voting rights. Many women are still in the fight for women's voting rights.

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Century-long Fight: Black Sorority Movement for Voting Rights

Delta Sigma Theta logo

Delta Sigma Theta was founded in 1913 at Howard University. It is a predominately Black sorority that is committed to the development of their members and public service, primarily around the Black community. The organization has a long history of activism, with their involvement in the women's suffrage parade being one of their first public acts. They believed in the importance of voting rights for Black women, and despite the great risk to their lives, they decided to participate in the march.

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Voting for All: Access and Accommodation

Organizations such as the National Disability Rights Network and the Center for American Progress's Disability Justice Initiative have advocated for full access to the voting process for people iwth disabilities. Several federal laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act of 1984 (VAEHA) outline provisions to ensure voting rights for individuals with disabilities. People with disabilities continue to fight for accessible registration options and polling places and proper training for election volunteers and staff to safeguard voting rights and to make the process a positive experience.

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LGBTQ+ Voting and Civil Rights

The LGBTQ+ community has a long history of advocating for voting rights. Many LGBTQ+ groups use an intersectional framework, recognizing that LGBTQ+ people may face multiple challenges due to discrimination based on race, gender, disability, and other marginalized identities. In particular, advocacy groups have raised concerns about voter identification laws, which disproportionately affect trans voters of color.

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