Blog Posts: Voting Rights

UNC Center for Civil Rights to Host Statewide Election Protection Hotline

Election Protection

On Election Day, Tuesday, November 8, the UNC School of Law will host a toll-free, non-partisan Election Protection hotline to answer voter questions from across North Carolina. Election Protection is a nationwide voter advocacy effort led by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law. Voters can contact the Election Protection hotline at 1.866.OUR.VOTE (1.866.687.8683) or 1.888.VE.Y.VOTA (1.888.839.8682) to report any problems they experience or witness at the polls, verify their registration status, or find their polling location.

The UNC Center for Civil Rights has hosted Election Protection’s North Carolina Election Day hotline since 2004. The North Carolina hotline is the only Election Protection call center that is staffed by law student volunteers. This year, over 80 law students have volunteered to staff the call center and field voter questions from individuals across the state. Lawyers and experts from the UNC Center for Civil Rights, Democracy NC, and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice will be present to assist student volunteers with calls and any needed follow-up. Because of potential voter misinformation and confusion related to the recent litigation and judicial rulings regarding North Carolina’s controversial 2013 election law, and with the state in play as a crucial toss-up in the presidential election, call volume at the hotline is expected to be very heavy.

The Election Protection hotline is open now for early voting, and will remain active through the closing of the polls on Election Day.


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Posted by Brent J. Ducharme on Thu. November 3, 2016 4:33 PM
Categories: Voting Rights

Ted Shaw on NCCU's Legal Eagle Review

Center Director Ted Shaw joined Professor Irv Joyner and voting rights advocates from Democracy NC and Southern Coalition for Social Justice on the NCCU Legal Eagle Review radio show. Listen to the podcast .
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Posted by Jennifer Watson Marsh on Wed. September 21, 2016 12:38 PM
Categories: Race Discrimination, Voting Rights

4th Circuit Strikes Down North Carolina's Voter ID Law

Today the U.S Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reversed decisions of the North Carolina Federal District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina in consolidated cases challenging sweeping restrictions on voting rights enacted by the North Carolina legislature. We are heartened by the Appellate Court’s decision today, which, taken with a similar decision by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals which covers Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, constitutes a significant turn against racial discrimination in electoral politics.
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Posted by Theodore M. Shaw (Ted) on Fri. July 29, 2016 2:43 PM
Categories: Amicus Curiae, Race Discrimination, Voting Rights

Center Files Amicus Brief in North Carolina Voting Rights Case

The CenterThis week the Center for Civil Rights filed an amicus curiae brief in the in the ongoing legal challenge to HB 589, the State’s 2013 voting law that imposed voter id requirements, cut early voting, and eliminated same-day registration, out of precinct ballots, and pre-registration of 16 and 17 year olds.


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Posted by Mark Dorosin on Fri. May 27, 2016 2:34 PM
Categories: Race Discrimination, Segregation, Voting Rights

Former Center Fellow Leah Aden Fights for Voting Rights

Leah Aden, NAACP LDF Assistant Counsel and Former Center Fellow, won an important battle (PDF) for fair elections in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia on Monday. Ms. Aden represents Fayette County, Georgia voters in their effort to secure fair district-based voting as the voting method for the upcoming special election. Ms. Aden argued the County should be prevented from using the at-large method of voting during the upcoming special election because it will impermissibly dilute the voting power of Black voters in Fayette in violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which celebrates its 50th Anniversary of being signed into law on August 6.


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Posted by Jennifer Watson Marsh on Wed. August 5, 2015 10:24 AM
Categories: Next Generation Series, Race Discrimination, Voting Rights

UNC Center for Civil Rights to Host National Election Protection Hotline

Election Protection Hotline

UNC School of Law students, with other community volunteers, are staffing a toll-free, non-partisan hotline to answer voter questions on Election Day, Tuesday, November 4, as part of Election Protection, a national voter advocacy effort. Voters can call 1.866.OUR.VOTE (866.687.8683) or 1.888.VE.Y.VOTA (888.839.8682) with questions about their rights and the voting process. The hotline is open now for early voting, and will remain active through the closing of the polls on Election Day.

This November is the first major election after the passage of North Carolina House Bill 589, which significantly changed the voting laws in North Carolina. The Election Protection Hotline will provide resources to support voters at the polling place. Voters can call the Hotline to report any problems they encounter or witness at the polls, verify their registration status, or find their polling location.


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Posted by Jennifer Watson Marsh on Wed. October 29, 2014 11:55 AM
Categories: Law Students, Pro Bono, Voting Rights

UNC Center for Civil Rights Inclusion Project Spotlight on Exclusion in Jones County

Jones County Report

Trenton, the smallest town in sparsely populated Jones County is not known for much, but made headlines in 1999 for a civil rights struggle to annex excluded communities. This latest report (PDF) documents the progress and persistent obstacles to racial integration in Trenton and across the county. With this installment, the UNC Center for Civil Rights continues its series of county level profiles on the legacy of racial segregation. Building on last year's statewide State of Exclusion report (PDF), this series includes reports on Lenoir (PDF), Davidson (PDF), and Moore (PDF) counties; all are available at www.uncinclusionproject.org. Profiles of additional counties will follow in the coming weeks, each highlighting particular aspects of that county’s history, ongoing impacts of exclusion, and progress toward full inclusion of all residents.


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Posted by Peter Hull Gilbert on Fri. July 11, 2014 11:31 AM
Categories: Community Inclusion, Education, Fair Housing, Segregation, Voting Rights

State of Exclusion: Profile on Moore County

State of Exclusion: Profile on Moore County

The UNC Center for Civil Rights continues its series of county level profiles on the legacy of racial segregation, focusing this time on Moore County (PDF). Building on last year’s statewide State of Exclusion report (PDF), this series includes prior reports on Lenoir (PDF) and Davidson (PDF) counties; all are available at www.uncinclusionproject.org. Profiles of additional counties will follow in the coming weeks, each highlighting particular aspects of that county’s history, ongoing impacts of exclusion, and progress toward full inclusion of all residents.

Moore County, in the southern part of the Piedmont of North Carolina, is the center of the Sandhills region, known today primarily for its luxurious golf resorts, especially Pinehurst, home to this year’s U.S. Open Golf Tournament. Despite significant strides, Moore County remains nearly as deeply divided as described by the New York Times in 2005, the last time it hosted a U.S. Open. Most basic amenities have been extended to the excluded communities nearest the wealthiest golf resorts, but when looking at the county as a whole, racial and economic segregation persists. This report focuses on the impact of racial segregation on affordable housing, public education, environmental justice, and access to municipal services. The UNC Center for Civil Rights continues to represent several excluded communities in the county; the history of the Center’s work there informs the report, but like prior reports all conclusions are based upon publically available data.


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Posted by Peter Hull Gilbert on Fri. June 6, 2014 4:07 PM
Categories: Annexation, Community Inclusion, Education, Environmental Justice, Fair Housing, Moore County, Race Discrimination, Segregation, Voting Rights

UNC Center for Civil Rights Inclusion Project Spotlight on Exclusion in Davidson County

Profile on Davidson County

Following last year’s State of Exclusion report, in March the UNC Center for Civil Rights released a profile on Lenoir County (PDF), the first in a series of in-depth examinations of exclusion and the legacy of racial segregation in individual counties. Today we are releasing the second profile in that series on Davidson County (PDF). This release, the study on Lenoir County, and last year’s statewide report, are all available at www.uncinclusionproject.org. Profiles of additional counties will follow in the coming weeks, each highlighting particular aspects of that county’s history, ongoing impacts of exclusion, and progress toward full inclusion of all residents.

Between the Charlotte and Triad metropolitan areas, Davidson County is divided between its mostly white rural population and the more concentrated African American populations in the cities of Lexington and Thomasville. This report focuses on the impact of racial segregation on affordable housing, public education, political representation, and utility service. Almost all subsidized housing in Davidson County is clustered in Lexington and Thomasville, with very little subsidized housing available anywhere else in the county. One effect of clustering subsidized housing in already concentrated areas of poverty and non-white population is to exclude African Americans, Latinos, and low wealth residents from neighborhoods of higher opportunity that have greater access to employment, higher median incomes, and better educational opportunities. This county-wide pattern of exclusion perpetuates racial segregation and frustrates the purposes of the Fair Housing Act.


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Posted by Peter Hull Gilbert on Mon. April 28, 2014 3:12 PM
Categories: Annexation, Community Inclusion, Education, Fair Housing, Race Discrimination, Segregation, Voting Rights

Speak Out at the Voting Rights Act Hearing on Friday

On Friday, March 28, 2014 in Rocky Mount, NC, the Center will participate in a public hearing on voting rights in North Carolina. The goal of the hearings is to gather testimony that can ultimately become part of the U.S. congressional record to restore or revise the Voting Rights Act (VRA) or other legislative measures to address restrictive voting practices and ensure effective, non-discriminatory electoral administration. Similar efforts led by the Lawyers’ Committee in 2005 and 2006 helped secure the reauthorization of the VRA at that time. Recently, Congress introduced new legislation that would eliminate NC from the VRA’s Section 5 coverage formula.


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Posted by Jennifer Watson Marsh on Wed. March 26, 2014 10:20 AM
Categories: Community Inclusion, Voting Rights
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