Voting and Elections

Americans’ right to vote is being threatened on multiple fronts, primarily to the detriment of minorities and the poor. Americans for Democratic Action notes with alarm the recent passage of legislation in numerous state legislatures and changes in administrative procedures in many states which prevent or severely burden the rights of citizens to vote. Without justification, these new laws and procedures are plainly intended to, and have the effect of, inhibiting and discouraging voting by the young, the elderly, the disabled and the poor. Under the pretext of preventing “voter fraud” and of preventing unnecessary expenditures of increasingly scarce public funds in the current poor economy, these irrational measures fail to prevent or deter the misbehavior they pretend to address and burden most severely portions of our citizens who are most in need of assistance for access to the ballot.



  • Legislation to prevent the use of voter identification and other unnecessary, discriminatory tactics to suppress the vote of certain groups. Voter impersonation is in fact extremely rare. Reasonably reliable identity requirements should be permitted only for initial registration.

  • Action to restore the statutory purpose of the Voting Rights section of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, the vigorous enforcement of voting rights, investigating intimidation and other vote-suppression tactics.

  • Exploration of executive and legislative means to promote the enfranchisement of felons who have paid their debt to society.

  • Strengthening of the Help America Vote Act to ensure that all eligible voters can exercise their right to vote and so every vote is accurately counted. That requires a verifiable paper trail available for a recount, as needed. Funding should be provided for states to acquire optical scan equipment, rather than insecure electronic voting units. It also requires monitoring the improper purging of voting rolls and the use of deceptive ballots.

  • Making Election Day a national holiday, so work requirements do not prevent voters from exercising the franchise. It would additionally make available a larger pool of non-partisan and bi-partisan voting officials.

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