Promote the Vote, Protect the Vote
For decades, NCJW members and supporters across the country have worked to encourage civic engagement by registering voters, educating communities, and getting out the vote on Election Day. NCJW advocates have also long pursued the expansion and protection of voting rights for historically disenfranchised individuals and communities through the suffrage movement, the struggle to end poll taxes, the campaign to pass the Voting Rights Act (VRA), the effort to change the voting age to 18, the Help America Vote Act of 2002, and now the campaign to pass the Voting Rights Advancement Act (VRAA), among other efforts.
Today, NCJW’s work to promote civic engagement takes the form of Promote the Vote, Protect the Vote. This exciting initiative mobilizes NCJW sections, members, and supporters to work, in accordance with the rules governing 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations, to ensure that all eligible voters are able to vote and that every vote is counted.
New Resource! Voting Rights Under Attack: An NCJW Toolkit to Protect the Vote is available to help you protect the vote in your community. In the toolkit, you will find:
- Background on the voting rights framework and its history;
- Talking points and discussion guides;
- Action ideas to raise awareness in your community; and
- Social media guides to get connected online.
2016 marked the first presidential election in 50 years without the full protection of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Download the new toolkit to take action and protect the vote!
Learn more today about how you can get involved in NCJW’s Promote the Vote, Protect the Vote!
Voting Rights Today
In recent years, many states have made repeated attempts to curb voting rights with laws that make requirements for voting unnecessarily burdensome. Although Congress reauthorized the Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965 in 2006 with tremendous bipartisan support, the 2013 US Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder gutted a key provision of the law . Before the Shelby County decision, certain states and jurisdictions had to report any voting law changes to the Department of Justice (DOJ) prior to implementation. Despite the VRA’s record of success in preventing discriminatory voting practices, the US Supreme Court ruled that the law used an inappropriate method or formula to determine which states required federal oversight. As a result, this decision opened the door for a wave of restrictions in state and local governments that will deny millions of Americans access to the polls.
NCJW continues to oppose any effort to erode voting rights and advocates for a legislative fix to repair the damage done to the Voting Rights Act by the Shelby County decision.
Updated Promote The Vote, Protect the Vote Resource Guide
The NCJW Promote the Vote, Protect the Vote 2015 Resource Guide is available online to help NCJW members, sections, and supporters make the greatest impact in their community around the importance of voting and access to the polls. The resource guide includes information on everything from building coalitions to organizing a candidate forum, as well as details on how to navigate electoral activities as part of a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. We hope you will use this resource to facilitate civic engagement, educate voters on issues and candidates, and protect voter access to the ballot box.
- Check out the updated Promote the Vote, Protect the Vote Resource Guide!
- Taking action in your community? Be sure to contact Lindsay Morris, NCJW manager of grassroots advocacy, at Lindsay@ncjwdc.org or (202) 375-5066 to let us know what you’re up to, and to make sure your plans comply with NCJW’s status as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.
Know your voting rights! Download an NCJW Know Your Rights Poster to print and post in local food banks, health clinics, Jewish community centers, beauty parlors, and more.
In addition to the post, use the resources below to research your state’s election laws, understand assistance you may be entitled to receive, become an election worker, report a complaint, and more!
Voting Rights Resources
- Locate your polling place and voting laws specific to your state: http://www.canivote.org (National Association of Secretaries of State)
- Become a Election Worker (US Election Assistance Commission)
- Information about language minority voting rights (US Department of Justice)
- Find out whether formerly incarcerated people can vote in your state (American Civil Liberties Union)
- Learn about voting overseas (US Vote Foundation)
- Assistance for disabled citizens casting a ballot, or for those assisting disabled voters (Nonprofit VOTE)
- State Administrative Voting Complaint Procedures (US Election Assistance Commission)
- Additional election protection information (Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law)