Photo: Election Day and Voter Suppression
In key states, Latino voters are confronted with illegal voting barriers that threaten their ability to cast ballots on Election Day. The Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) is fighting to ensure that Latinos and other eligible voters are able to participate in today’s election without interference or attempts to suppress their vote.
The following are some of the voter initiative MALDEF is involved in:
In Texas, MALDEF secured a federal court order blocking the most restrictive voter identification law in the country. However, the Texas Secretary of State continues to mislead voters on the requirements for voter ID on Election Day. By printing the wrong voter ID requirements on the back of voter registration cards mailed to all voters in the state, and listing the wrong voter ID requirements on two websites maintained by her office, the Texas Secretary of State has created widespread confusion that threatens the ability of Texas voters to cast their ballots on Election Day. MALDEF is working to ensure that Texas voters know that they can vote using their voter registration cards and other non-photo documents and that the Secretary of State corrects the information she distributes to the electorate.
In Phoenix, Arizona, MALDEF is working to ensure that hundreds of individuals who properly registered to vote using the Federal Mail Voter Registration Form are allowed to cast ballots on Tuesday. MALDEF won a court order in August 2012 requiring Arizona to accept federal voter registration applications. Nevertheless, the State of Arizona did not timely confirm these voters’ identities and kept their names off the precinct rolls in some counties. As a result of MALDEF’s efforts, the Maricopa County Recorder has agreed to send letters to 1,300 registered voters that the voters can use at the polls to receive a regular ballot on Election Day.
Recently, Maricopa County admitted to distributing official documents that advised Spanish speaking voters of the wrong election date. Maricopa, the state’s largest county with a majority of the state’s registered voters, has agreed to conduct additional Spanish language outreach to inform voters of the correct election date.
Voter who experience problems casting their ballots on Election Day can call MALDEF toll-free at1.877.224.5476.