Today, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) launched a new voting rights microsite that serves as an online hub for LDF’s multiple streams of voting rights work. This work is especially important this year, as COVID-19 has led to various changes in state elections rules. The microsite features LDF’s two voter education and advocacy projects –Prepared to Vote (PTV) and Voting Rights Defender (VRD); current voting rights litigation; our voting rights policy platforms; and comprehensive information about the 2020 Census and subsequent redistricting process.
The microsite, which can be accessed here, was developed by LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute in advance of the November elections to allow voters and voting rights advocates to easily find the most up-to-date information regarding Election Day preparation. This includes specific voter registration and polling place guidelines for targeted states — Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina, and Texas — as well as tools for identifying and combatting voter suppression practices. The microsite is also forward-looking as LDF prepares for 2021 legislative redistricting — the process of redrawing new congressional and state legislative districts — which will determine the distribution of political power and governmental funding for the next decade.
“We are thrilled to launch LDF’s voting rights microsite today. As we approach the November election, it is more critical than ever that voters — especially voters of color — and voting rights advocates have the information they need to ensure equal and safe access to the ballot box,” said Janell Byrd-Chichester, Director of LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute.
The microsite allows the public to engage directly with LDF and access critical voting rights resources, including:
LDF’s PTV project supports Black political participation and works to ensure that voters are prepared to submit an absentee ballot/vote by mail or head to the polls on Election Day or for early voting. The project engages volunteers to conduct on-the-ground, non-partisan voter education about voter registration, polling place locations, voter identification materials (where needed), and COVID-19 safety measures for in-person voting.
Launched this year, our VRD project was created to ensure that tactics to disenfranchise Black voters are quickly identified and addressed ahead of the November election. The project tracks and responds to voter suppression efforts in targeted jurisdictions to protect the right to vote. Critically, our response teams work in close collaboration with local community partners to combat voter suppression through advocacy, public exposure/media, and litigation, if necessary.
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 (TMI) 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.