"No voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure shall be imposed or applied by any State or political subdivision to deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color."

- Voting Rights Act of 1965, Section 2

The right to participate in free and fair election processes is a cornerstone of our nation’s democratic principles. These principles are manifested in the voting booths where Americans go to choose their leaders, and it is vitally important that Georgians have the ability to exercise their right to vote without voter suppression tactics. In the 2012 general election, nearly half of eligible Georgia voters did not cast a ballot (42%).

Since 2008, states across the country have passed measures to make it harder for Americans—and especially black people, immigrants, the elderly, students, and people with disabilities—to exercise their fundamental right to cast a ballot. Those measures include voter ID laws, cuts to early voting, and purges of voter rolls. Polling place irregularities, such as frequently moving and consolidating polling places without adequately informing citizens also are common voter suppression tactics.

In 2013, in a massive blow to civil rights and democracy, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the current coverage formula of the Voting Rights Act which had protected citizens in states that had long and notorious histories of excluding black voters, in particular, from the polls and drawing political boundaries to ensure that minorities could not be elected. The ACLU is fighting this rollback of voting rights in the courts, in Congress and in our state legislatures. We also work to expand the right to vote for all by challenging criminal disenfranchisement laws and expanding same-day and online voter registration.

In Georgia, we work to advance democratic participation in the following ways: