Voting Rights Campaign Urges Reforms at Phoenix Congressional Field Hearing
PHOENIX–All Voting is Local Arizona State Director Alex Gulotta will testify before the House Administration Committee today in their field hearing, “Voting Rights and Election Administration in Arizona.”
In his testimony, Gulotta emphasizes the attacks on the right to vote in Arizona since 2013, when the United States Supreme Court struck down the Section 5 preclearance requirements of the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County v. Holder, removing crucial protections for people historically disenfranchised at the ballot box. Since 2013, changes in how Arizona elections are run have been made without notice, transparency, and an analysis of racial impact, harming the state’s voters.
“Fair and equitable access to the ballot box is a cornerstone of our democracy,” says Gulotta. “In Arizona, and nationwide, we must ensure that every voter can fully participate and that the fundamental right to vote is protected at every level, including through a restored and modernized Voting Rights Act.”
In his testimony, Gulotta details the needless barriers to the ballot that keep Arizonans from having their voices heard including: discriminatory restrictions on vote by mail; polling place closures, movements and changes; and new and burdensome photo ID requirements.
Even in the absence of full protection from the Voting Rights Act, Arizona can act now to tackle these problems that harm communities of color and other historically disenfranchised groups.
Gulotta proposes such policy recommendations as: elections officials working to determine if proposed election changes would have a discriminatory purpose or effect; ensuring stable polling place locations for the 2020 election; increased equipment and support for under-resourced polling locations; detailed back-up plans for Election Day technology problems and, if Election Day difficulties arise, ensuring elections officials will jointly seek court permission to keep polls open late, so that every voice is heard.
His full testimony can be found here.
A live stream of the hearing is available here.
All Voting is Local fights to eliminate needless and discriminatory barriers to voting before they happen, to build a democracy that works for us all. It is a collaborative campaign housed at The Leadership Conference Education Fund, in conjunction with the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation; the American Constitution Society; the Campaign Legal Center; and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. For more information about All Voting is Local, visit https://allvotingislocal.org and follow us on Twitter @votingislocal.