If there’s an upside to restrictive voting laws, it’s the organizing that’s going on around voter protection:
Here’s a challenge for all who insist that voter ID will pose no special hardship for certain voters in Texas. How about you help make sure that is as true as you think it is? VoteRiders is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group that will focus on helping those voters in Harris County without photo IDs to get them.
Helping folks get these IDs will mean helping a whole lot of them get the documents needed to get those “free” state IDs, called Election Identification Certificates in Texas. I’ve put quote marks around “free” because the documents to get them are decidedly not.
Those are a lot of ifs and a lot of effort involved, which is the point — folks sitting out elections. No one should. This is why VoteRiders exist.
California attorney Kathleen Unger formed the organization because she saw state after state rolling out voter ID and recognized what a whole lot of folks did. People who were voting, suddenly wouldn’t. And folks without the proper ID might never.
VoterRiders has hired a Texas coordinator, Marianela Acuña Arreaza, lately involved in the Texas Civic Engagement Table’s “Got ID, Texas” campaign.
VoteRiders is focused on making sure that no eligible citizen is denied his or her right to vote for lack of ID.
Here’s an interview with VoteRiders founder Kathleen Unger.
And here’s a Cleveland effort focused on Latino voters:
The “Es Nuestro Turno, It’s Our Turn” outreach project is a continuation of efforts to register Spanish-speaking Latino voters and encourage them to head to the polls. The initiative includes a follow-up effort to see if those voters actually cast ballots in order to measure its success.
The outreach project is a collaborative effort between the board of elections bilingual coordinator, other elections agency staff, volunteers from Latino community groups, and faith-based leaders who work within the Hispanic community.
The Spanish Language Advisory Board of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections is spearheading the effort. The Latino community has had a long-standing problem of very low turn-out in all elections. As a result, Latinos have minimized their influence in choosing their elected officials, especially among the Spanish-speaking community.