Voting Rights

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.

Success Stories

Election Protection:

We coordinate the largest non-partisan voter protection campaign in New England. In presidential elections, we train and coordinate over 500 volunteers to monitor polling sites across Massachusetts. We also provide real-time support to voters through our Election Protection Hotline (866-OUR-VOTE).

Voting Rights Litigation:

Huot v. City of Lowell: 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 collaboration with our community partners, we advocate in support of numerous election modernization initiatives pending before the state legislature.