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The Brennan Center's Myrna Pérez speaks at the New York University Law School two years ago.

Meet the reformer: Myrna Pérez, advocate for a trustworthy election in the pandemic

The Brennan Center for Justice, a progressive think tank at New York University Law School, is one of the preeminent groups pushing for a comprehensive, reliable and safe election during the coronavirus pandemic. And helming that litigation, research and lobbying effort is Myrna Pérez. She runs the voting rights and elections program and has been with the Brennan Center most of her professional life, arriving after a stint at a civil rights firm in Washington and clerkships for federal trial and appeals court judges in Philadelphia. Before getting a law degree from Columbia in 2003, she was a health care and housing analyst for what's now called the Government Accountability Office, the congressional oversight agency. Her answers have been edited for clarity and length.

What's democracy's biggest challenge, in 10 words or less?

Politicians manipulating the rules so some of us can't vote.

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New York should honor the late John Lewis by passing voting rights legislation in his memory, writes William Fowler.

N.Y. shouldn't wait for Congress —  it can pass its own voting rights law

Fowler is on the communications staff of the New York City Campaign Finance Board, but the views here are his own.

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Virtual Screening and Conversation: 'John Lewis: Good Trouble'

Organizer: VoteRiders

Join in making some "good trouble" to honor the legacy of Rep. John Lewis with action on the 55th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act.

Never before has this country needed to hear the powerful voice of Mr. Lewis more. With his unwavering strength, relentless optimism, and indomitable spirit, he has gifted us with clear marching orders and a blueprint for saving our democracy. We hope you will join VoteRiders and some very special guests for a lively conversation about how we can make his vision a reality, and ensure that no one is stripped of their right to vote in 2020.

Location: Virtual

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Alabama photo ID requirement for voters upheld by federal appeals court

Alabama's strict photo identification law is not racially discriminatory and can remain in force, a divided federal appeals court has ruled.

The decision is the latest courthouse development in a state with one of the highest volumes of voting rights disputes. The pace has accelerated because of the view that already restrictive election rules will amplify voter suppression during the coronavirus pandemic — concern that just this week prompted the Republican elections chief to allow anyone to vote by mail this fall.

The case, decided 2-1 on Tuesday by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, predates the arrival of Covid-19 but nonetheless reflects the currently familiar narrative: Civil rights groups challenge a law on the grounds it violates the electorate's political rights under the Voting Rights Act and the Constitution, and the state defends the statute as necessary to prevent election fraud.

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