Safeguarding the Voice of Latino Voters
MALDEF has a proud history of working to protect the rights of all voters and to secure the opportunity to make a difference at the polls for historically disenfranchised populations. MALDEF advocates at all levels of government for U.S. citizens to have unimpeded access to the polls, regardless of national origin or language ability.
In a sharply split decision today, the United States Supreme Court in Bartlett v. Strickland closed the courthouse doors to many Latinos and other minority communities who face discrimination with regard to voting.
Days after the Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, Coretta Scott King, and Cesar E. Chavez Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006 became effective, a municipal utility district in Austin, Texas, challenged it in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. The Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District Number One asked the court to declare that provisions of the Voting Rights Act no longer applied to the district or that the Act should be ruled unconstitutional.
In November 2004, Arizona voters passed Proposition 200, which requires that voter registration applicants provide documentary proof of citizenship and that voters provide proof of identity at the polls on Election Day.
In the weeks leading up to the 2008 General Elections, MALDEF filed a lawsuit in Georgia against unconstitutional verification procedures that conflicted with Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.
As part of MALDEF’s national voter protection campaign during the 2008 general elections, MALDEF filed a federal lawsuit in Albuquerque, New Mexico to block threats and voter intimidation directed at eligible Latino voters.
Despite vociferous concerns expressed by representatives of traditionally marginalized voter groups, the United States Supreme Court has upheld an Indiana state law that requires voters to present photo identification at the polls on Election Day.