American Civil Liberties Union

The ACLU, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, was founded to ensure the promise of the Bill of Rights and to expand its reach to people historically denied its protections. For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has been our nation's guardian of liberty, working in courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and the laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country. The ACLU is now a nationwide organization with a 50-state network of staffed affiliate offices filing cases in both state and federal courts. We appear before the Supreme Court more than any other organization except the Department of Justice.
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An estimated 5.2 million Americans were unable to vote in 2020 due to felony convictions, according to the Sentencing Project.

Push to expand felon voting rights newly focused on Minnesota

Minnesota, which takes pride in posting the biggest turnout numbers year after year, is now the newest home for the debate over a more hot-button aspect of elections: voting rights for convicted felons.

The law is the same in Minnesota as 20 other states: The franchise is automatically restored to felons once they finish probation or parole. But the American Civil Liberties Union maintains such a waiting period violates the state constitution. A judge this summer dismissed the group's lawsuit, and on Monday the ACLU asked the state Court of Appeals to revive its claim.

Bolstering the political power of ex-convicts, who are disproportionately Black and Latino, has become a major goal of civil rights groups. The number of felons at issue in Minnesota is 53,000, an estimated three in eight of them Black men in a state with a 6 percent Black population.

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Election officials in DeKalb County, Ga., "have encouraged, solicited, and acted on extraordinary voter challenges that extend beyond the routine list maintenance activities that are required by state and federal law," a suit contends.

One Georgian's crusade to clean the voter rolls spurs a lawsuit

A Georgia man is doing his part to keep the voter rolls clean. Or he's a guy with too much time on his hands.

Either way, someone named Lawrence Hoskins is a central figure in the latest voting rights lawsuit in the Peach State. He appears on page 14 of a 195-page complaint filed by civil rights groups against the Board of Registration and Elections in DeKalb County, a decidedly Democratic slice of Atlanta and its suburbs to the east.

The suit, filed Wednesday in federal court, alleges the election officials violated federal law and constitutional voting rights protections by failing to do enough to confirm the registration information of more than 50 people and then notify them before they were dropped from the rolls in the past two years.

Hoskins' role is perfectly legal under state law, which permits a registered voter to challenge another person's voting qualifications by filing a written complaint with a county.

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Sen. Bernie Sanders is hoping for another round of strong support from young voters, but in New Hampshire there is confusion over the voting rights for college students from other states.

College students at heart of voting rights fight in New Hampshire primary

A day ahead of the New Hampshire primary, college kids are in the center of both the main voting rights fight and concern about confusion at the polls.

The issue is what students from out of state must do in order to vote legally in the first straightforward election of the 2020 Democratic presidential contest. The rules were changed by state law two years ago, with some Republican legislators saying their aim was to make it tougher for young people who grew up outside the Granite State to take part.

But civil rights groups, led by the American Civil Liberties Union, are encouraging every American citizen who's at least 18 years old and wakes up in New Hampshire on Tuesday to head to the polls — potentially causing anger and delays if election judges seek to turn them away.

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