How Advocates Are Fighting Voter Suppression

Yes! Magazine,  February 5, 2020

"Voting rights advocates are battling on multiple fronts this presidential election year to fend off a proliferation of voter suppression maneuvers that largely restrict people of color and younger Americans from casting their ballots.


Often the newer restrictions focus on bureaucratic details, but their intent and impact target the same populations that historically faced violence and harassment when seeking to exercise the right to vote:

The proliferating challenges to the right to vote include requiring people to show specific government identification; mandating an exact match between the name on voting registration records and on approved forms of ID; reducing early voting and absentee voting; preventing voter registration drives by third-party organizations; and aggressive purges of voters who may have moved or who failed to vote in previous elections.


Wisconsin also is in the voting rights crosshairs over identification restrictions that opponents say make it more difficult for students to vote. A 2011 law establishing a photo ID requirement was signed by then-Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, and survived initial court challenges. A federal lawsuit filed by Common Cause is still pending.

That suit says that among 28 states with voter ID laws that allow use of student IDs, Wisconsin is the only one that requires students also to show proof of enrollment and that the student ID can only be valid for up to two years.

Carolyn DeWitt, president and executive director of Rock the Vote, a nonpartisan organization that works to get more young voters to the polls, says ID laws generally can be problematic for young people who move frequently and may not have a driver’s license or other requisite identification."


Read the full article...

Hannah Piercey