On March 9,
2016, attendees of “Voting Rights in an Election Year for Communities of Color”
were treated to an engaging presentation about the challenges and issues
creating barriers for communities of color to vote, as well as the work being
done to protect and expand those rights.
The panelists were introduced by Song Kim, Issues Committee Co-Chair.  The panelists were Jerry
Vattamala (AALDEF), Natasha Korgaonkar (NAACP LDF), and  Joanna Cuevas-Ingram (Latino Justice).

discussion covered the effect of the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder (2013), which
immobilized an integral section of the Voting Rights Act that had been used for
decades to prevent new voting laws that would disproportionately affect or
limit the voting rights of communities of color. Following Shelby, there
are now thirty-three states with restrictive voter registration laws. The event
also shed light on additional voting issues from recent elections, including
improperly translated ballots and voting material, diluting the minority vote
through redistricting, and even poll-workers segregating voting lines.

This will be
the first presidential election without
the full protections of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Those interested in
protecting voters’ rights are encouraged to volunteer as poll monitors on election day. Register here.
Look for the panel at our Fall Conference, where we have invited them to
attend and speak to us again on the eve of the Presidential elections!

thanks to our panelists  for a fantastic
event. The event was hosted by the Issues Committee (Song King & Chris Kwok Co-Chairs) in
conjunction with AALDEF and the NYU Law Women of Color Collective.  Cassarah Chu, a law student member of the
Issues Committee, provided invaluable support to make the program possible.