CLC and Legal Defense Fund Launch New Toolkit to Help Expand In-Person Voting Access in MississippiMannal Haddad
October 10, 2022
For Immediate Release
September 8, 2022
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) and Legal Defense Fund launched a new toolkit to help voting rights advocates and community leaders expand access to in-person voting in Mississippi. This toolkit provides an overview of the national and state-level legal and policy considerations for establishing and changing Election Day polling place locations, gives examples of the specific and racially disparate problems with in-person voting access across Mississippi, and offers resources for local advocacy and oversight to eliminate barriers to in-person voting.
“Our democracy works best when every voter can participate without barriers. Mississippi voters deserve to have an equal opportunity to cast their ballot in person,” said Valencia Richardson, Campaign Legal Center’s legal counsel for voting rights. “We hope this toolkit will help empower Mississippians to protect their freedom to vote by providing democracy advocates with the tools they need to fight for an accessible and inclusive democracy. ”
"It is more important than ever for Mississippians to get involved in the political process. With limited federal oversight, the state maintains some of the harshest and most discriminatory voting restrictions in the country. This toolkit aims to equip Mississippians with the data and tactics needed to spot election access barriers in their communities and advocate for equal and accessible voting opportunities close to home," said Legal Defense Fund Attorney Victoria Wenger.
Many states in the Deep South don’t provide universal access to vote-by-mail, which makes equitable access to in-person voting essential. After the Supreme Court gutted the preclearance formula in Shelby County v. Holder, many Southern localities with high Black populations limited Black voters’ freedom to vote by consolidating or eliminating polling place locations.
In Mississippi, county governments closed 96 polling places between 2012 and 2018. Since there are virtually no state standards for changing polling places, counties often change them with little notice and at the voter’s expense. Closing a neighborhood polling place can cause longer wait times, fewer resources at the polls and confusion when voters get no notice and show up to the wrong polling place.
If you have any further questions about the toolkit or in-person voting access in the Deep South, please reach out to CLC’s Senior Communications Manager for Voting Rights and Redistricting, Mannal Haddad, at email@example.com.
Copyright © 2022 Campaign Legal Center. All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
1101 14 St. NW Suite 400
Washington, D.C. 20005