Voting is the cornerstone of democracy. And yet, throughout our history we have excluded indispensable voices from this fundamental right. African-Americans, women, and young people all risked their lives for and eventually gained the right to vote. Voter turnout in the 2008 election was the most racially diverse in American history, closing the longstanding gap between white and minority voter participation. In response to this historic moment, however, lawmakers nationwide have erected more barriers to the ballot box.
States are making it harder and harder for people to vote, virtually guaranteeing that many people won’t actually have the right at all. Poll taxes and literacy tests have given way to more modern voter suppression tactics packaged as voter ID laws and restrictions to voter registration. These restrictions target particular populations, including college and university students, the elderly, transgender people, people who are differently abled, and many others. The American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire is actively working to defend the right to vote and preserve this cornerstone of democracy for all eligible New Hampshire citizens.