Prevent Voter Disenfranchisement!
Third in a Series on Key Issues in 2012
Since the right to vote is the cornerstone of a democratic society, the widespread assault on the exercise of that right is a reason for more than concern — it is a reason for alarm. We are greatly heartened by the many groups that have spoken out on this critical issue and hope that many more will be heard from as well.
Toward that end, we in the Emergency Labor Network (ELN) hope that your organization will adopt the resolution below and notify us of your action. The more organizations that take a public stand in defense of voting rights, the greater the prospect for preserving those rights and defeating the right wing's campaign to disenfranchise untold millions.
Coordinating Committee, ELN
Resolution in Support of the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and the Voting Rights Act and in Opposition to All Voter Suppression Laws and Regulations
Whereas, the Fifteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States and the Voting Rights Act guarantee the right to vote, which shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race or color; and
Whereas, Congress passed the 1965 Voting Rights Act with pressure from the Civil Rights Movement; and
Whereas, thousands have been threatened, beaten, and/or killed fighting for this right; and
Whereas, the goal of the right wing is to eliminate voter presence at the polls, accelerate the spread of racial segregation, and disempower Blacks, Latinos, Asians, Native Americans, students, young people, seniors, and the disabled by resurrecting road blocks to voting akin to Jim Crow's poll taxes and eligibility tests; and
Whereas, eight states have passed laws to restrict voting by imposing burdensome qualifications and record checks to intimidate and prevent voting by working class people, the poor, and the other above named groups; and
Whereas many other states are considering similar measures; and
Whereas, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, as many as five million eligible voters could meet difficulties this Election Day in voting due to these newly imposed election laws and regulations; and
Whereas, the AFL-CIO, Change To Win, Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW), NAACP, National Urban League, councils of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU), Pride At Work, National Organization for Women (NOW), A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI), Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), Black Workers for Justice (BWFJ) and many other progressive organizations have taken positions against the Jim Crow tactics of states legislatures; and
Whereas, the U.S. Supreme Court has expanded the definition of corporations as individuals in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and has allowed them to put millions into Right Wing Political Actions Committees (PACs) that bankroll voter disenfranchisement; now therefore be it
Resolved that [name of union or organization] opposes any effort by any state or group that violates the 15th Amendment of the Constitution or the Voters Right Act, whether through threats, intimidation, state legislation, or any other tactic; and be it further
Resolved that our organization will support all efforts to fight and defeat the right wing Jim Crow efforts to deny citizens the right to vote freely, without fear, intimidation or undue burden; and be it further
Resolved that this resolution will be circulated widely among unions and community organizations; and be it finally
Resolved that we send this resolution to Attorney General Eric Holder and demand that the Justice Department immediately and decisively invalidate all laws and regulations that suppress the right of the people to exercise their democratic right to vote.