Seated woman with a red suit jacket speaking into a microphone at a public hearing

Policy Platforms

“All of our efforts to strengthen democracy in this country fail, unless we get voting right. It is vital that we confront the truth head-on: America’s system of voting is broken and requires urgent repair. At the current moment, our voting system is neither secure, equally accessible, nor fair. The good news is that there are simple and direct solutions to every one of the problems with our voting system. Now all we need is the will, determination and responsible leadership of elected and other public officials to come together and address this crisis.”

—Sherrilyn Ifill on the need for comprehensive voting rights reform

Beginning with Smith v. Allwright,[1] our successful Supreme Court case challenging the use of whites-only primary elections in 1944, LDF has been fighting to overcome obstacles to ensure the full, equal, and active participation of black voters.

From that era to the present, LDF has been involved in every struggle to secure, protect, and advance voting rights for Black voters and other communities of color. The importance of the vote cannot be overstated. Each and every election provides an opportunity for eligible voters to engage with and influence policy, to elect members to our government to represent them and their concerns, and to participate in the political process enshrined in the foundation of our nation. For black and minority communities which have for so long been denied the right to vote, the right to free and fair elections has an added significance. In local elections and presidential elections alike, each vote is sacred.

[1] 321 U.S. 629 (1944).