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
Mar 17, 20Legal Responses to COVID-19
Dec 03, 192019 Annual Report
Oct 18, 19Multi-Lingual Videos for Lowell Election
Sep 18, 19Ropes & Gray Justice Fellowship
Jun 27, 19Census Citizenship Question Gets Blocked
Jun 26, 19Census Art Contest
May 29, 19Settlement of Federal Voting Rights Act Case Against Lowell, Mass.
May 01, 19Weaponizing The Census Would Hurt Massachusetts
Mar 22, 19Launching Multilingual Census 2020 Hotline
Mar 03, 19The Case For “All Resident” Voting
Feb 25, 19Census Flaws: Language Inaccessibility & Limited Community Outreach
Jan 03, 19Condemning Trump Administration’s Assault On Anti-Discrimination Protections
Nov 29, 18Lowell’s Voting Rights Challenge Is Opportunity For Positive Change
Nov 20, 182018 Year-in-Review
Nov 16, 18Congressional Resolution Honors Our Achievements
Jun 23, 18Free Legal Clinic on July 16 in Roxbury
Feb 27, 18Expanding Client Intake and Community Outreach Staff
Jan 11, 18On MLK Day, Our 50-Year Quest for Justice