Today, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, ACLU of Connecticut, Common Cause in Connecticut, Hispanic Federation, LatinoJustice PRDLEF, and over 20 additional civil rights, racial justice, faith-based, labor, and service organizations sent a letter urging elected leaders in Connecticut to prioritize and pass SB 471, a state-level Voting Rights Act for Connecticut. This landmark legislation will provide strong protections against voter suppression and intimidation, empower voters of color to identify and dismantle unequal barriers to participation, strengthen language assistance, and send a powerful message that CT will not stand for discrimination in voting. Voting rights are under attack across the nation, and passing SB 471 will make Connecticut a leader when it comes to voting rights. SB 471 builds upon successful laws already passed in California, Washington, Oregon, and Virginia. New York is currently considering legislation similar to SB 471. The first bill passed will immediately become the most comprehensive state-level voting rights act in the country.

SB 471’s critical protections include:

  • Launching a “preclearance” program that requires local governments with records of discrimination to prove that proposed voting changes will not harm voters of color before they can go into effect.
  • Providing new legal tools to fight discriminatory voting provisions in court.
  • Expanding language assistance for voters with limited English proficiency.
  • Creating strong protections against voter intimidation, deception, or obstruction.
  • Establishing a central hub for election data and demographic information that will empower officials and community members to ensure accessible elections.

Read the full letter here.

Learn more about SB 471 here.


Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Follow LDF on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.