The right to vote has been called the “crown jewel” of American liberties. Lawyers for Civil Rights has actively worked to enhance this right since the 1970s. Our advocacy has included voting rights litigation and initiatives that have served historically disenfranchised communities throughout the Commonwealth. LCR’s Voting Rights Project consists of three focus areas of voter protection, litigation, and advocacy, which are designed to effectively channel resources and focus our efforts to achieve equality and protect advances in voting rights for racial and ethnic minorities and other traditionally disenfranchised groups.
Some of our efforts in these areas include:
- Election Protection: We coordinate the largest non-partisan voter protection campaign in Massachusetts. In the 2016 presidential election, we trained and coordinated over 500 volunteers to monitor polling sites across the Commonwealth. We also provided real-time support to voters through our Election Protection Hotline (866-OUR-VOTE).
- Voting rights litigation:
- Huot et al. v. City of Lowell et al.: Federal lawsuit challenging the at-large electoral system for electing Lowell’s City Council and School Committee, which dilutes the vote of communities of color in violation of the Voting Rights Act and the U.S. Constitution.
- Black Political Task Force v. Galvin, Secretary of the Commonwealth: Challenge to redrawing the Commonwealth’s House of Representative electoral districts in a way that diluted the votes of communities of color in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.
- Arise for Social Justice v. City of Springfield: Challenge to the at-large City Council and School Committee voting structure that systematically eliminated minority candidates from the electoral process and diluted the votes of communities of color in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and the Equal Protection Clause of 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
- NAACP v. Galvin, Secretary of the Commonwealth: successful lawsuit against the Commonwealth and the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance for violating their federally-mandated responsibilities to offer tens of thousands of public assistance recipients opportunities to register to vote in violation of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.
- Legislative Advocacy: In conjunction with our community partners, the Lawyers’ Committee has testified in support of numerous election modernization initiatives pending before the state legislature.
News and Resources
Feb 10, 21Minority Population Growth Changes Electoral Districts
Feb 08, 21Voting Rights Lawsuit Filed Against Worcester, MA
Jan 07, 21Response to the White Supremacist Coup
Dec 18, 20Statement on Supreme Court’s Decision in Trump v. New York
Nov 30, 202020 Annual Report
Nov 17, 20Immigrants to Census Bureau: We’re Here and We Count
Nov 16, 20Democratizing Redistricting in 2021
Nov 11, 20Open Letter to Biden/Harris Transition Team
Nov 04, 20The Repair Work Begins Now
Oct 29, 20Shenanigans on Election Day?
Sep 14, 20Boston Must Provide More Drop-Boxes for the Election
Sep 03, 20Election Protection Coalition Flags Vote-by-Mail Issues
Aug 14, 20Victory! Khmer Vote-By-Mail Applications
Aug 04, 20Volunteer for Election Protection
Jul 31, 20State Fails to Send Khmer Vote-By-Mail Applications
Jul 28, 20Undocumented Immigrants to Trump: We Are People and We Count
Jul 20, 20Victory! Massachusetts Starts Sending Mail-In Ballot Applications
Jul 13, 20Minority Voters Sue To Secure Mail-In Ballot Applications