VOTERIDERS RESPONDS TO UNSETTLING SUPREME COURT DECISION WITH VOTER ID CLINICS NATIONWIDE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kathleen Unger
Today’s Supreme Court decision will fundamentally change the face of voting in the United States. Ruling on the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Court struck down the list of states and localities with a history of discriminatory voting practices, alleviating those jurisdictions from having to seek pre-approval to enact laws or regulations that could essentially disenfranchise voters on account of race or color, including modern-day voter ID legislation.
"Today's Supreme Court ruling effectively takes the brakes off efforts to impose highly restrictive voter ID requirements on registered voters in states with a long history of disenfranchisement," said Kathleen Unger, Founder and CEO of VoteRiders, a non-partisan organization that helps registered voters to secure the documents required to meet stringent voter ID regulations. "VoteRiders focuses on preserving every American's fundamental right to vote. Our work has never been more important than it is today."
To ensure that no eligible citizen is disenfranchised, VoteRiders is responding by launching its Voter ID Clinics with training materials needed by on-the-ground organizations along with media support.
VoteRiders will provide, free-of-charge, a downloadable Clinic-in-a-Box™ -- training documents, training videos and marketing tools -- for Partner Organizations conducting Voter ID Clinics. Partners will work with pro bono counsel to help voters who need an amended or delayed birth certificate. Delayed birth certificates are required by citizens, usually born by midwife or who have been adopted, who do not have a proper birth certificate at all.
VoteRiders’ Voter ID Clinics will be especially important in those states that require a government-issued photo ID. Securing the underlying documents required to obtain a photo ID - including legal copies of birth certificates, change-of-name certificates (such as adoption or marriage records) and replacement social security cards - is complicated, time-consuming and expensive.
In addition, VoteRiders will support its Partners, Voter Advocates (trained volunteers) and Citizen Voters with a national and local media and marketing campaign. As a result, VoteRiders hopes that communities hosting Voter ID Clinics will respond both with their time and their donations to Voter ID Clinic Partners.
"Political and legal pushback to overly restrictive rules won't always arrive in time for individual citizens who do not have the right kind of ID," said Professor Justin Levitt, an election law expert engaged in voter protection efforts nationwide. "Organizations like VoteRiders are working to help make sure that eligible voters aren't unfairly locked out of the polls in the meantime."
VoteRiders is creating Partnerships and building an advisory Coalition to support Voter ID Clinics in the following initial states that have, or are expected to pass, government-issued photo ID laws by the 2014 national election cycle: AR, GA, IN, KS, ND, NH, PA, SC, TN and WI. Given that the U.S. Supreme Court has now overturned Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, the following states are also likely to need Voter ID Clinics: AL, MS, NC, TX and VA.
Please visit VoteRiders for more information.