The United States has a long and well documented history of disenfranchising people of color politically, first by denying them the right to vote entirely, and then later through a system of public policies (i.e., Jim Crow, Voter ID laws), widespread voter intimidation, and purging registered voters from the rolls. In addition to this, redistricting has had the effect of reducing the political power of some racial/ethnic groups, as have policies that restrict the voter rights of those convicted of felonies, at a time of deep and persistent inequities in who is arrested, charged with a felony and convicted. Even though the 2008 Presidential election showed record numbers of people voting, specifically people of color and young people, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights noted, "News reports from around the country spoke of long waits, absentee ballots not reaching voters, voter suppression and intimidation efforts, and voting machine break downs.” And these forms of intimidation have increased since that time, as evidenced by the fact that 30 states have tried to put in place picture ID requirements for voters, using an argument of voter fraud that has not been substantiated, and in fact, has been debunked.

Resources in this section document some of the current forms of voter restriction and strategies groups have used to try to address them.

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