Advocacy and Action
What is being done and what can we do?
Organizations like the League of Women Voters, the National Organization for Women and the American Civil Liberties Union are engaged in advocacy and litigation across the country to fight voter suppression. State government has the ability to enact measures to encourage voting. Automatic, online, and same-day voter registration could encourage participation and reduce chances of error. Early voting helps people with travel or accessibility concerns participate. States also have the ability to enforce the protections of the Voting Rights Act.
At an individual level, the best way to fight voter suppression is to vote and know your voting rights. In particular during the COVID-19 pandemic era, voters standing in line close to each other, handling ballots and using touch screens make for a potentially toxic stew of community transmission of the novel coronavirus. Election officials and policymakers consider mitigation strategies such as election emergency statutes and contingency plans at state and local levels. On contingency planning, the National Association of Secretaries of State released State Laws & Practices for the Emergency Management of Elections in 2017. West Virginia postponed primary elections and mailed absentee ballots to all residents registered to vote. Laws are being continuously documented and updated on the National Conference for State Legislatures website.