Voting is the most fundamental way for people to make their voices heard in the democratic process. But state policy decisions have created or preserved hurdles that make it difficult or impossible for many Alabamians to participate in that process. Arise analyzes these barriers to the ballot box and considers policy solutions to strengthen voting rights and expand civic engagement in Alabama.
Voting rights are a flashpoint in Alabama’s history. The long denial of those rights to African Americans led to Bloody Sunday in Selma, the march to Montgomery and eventually passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In the half-century since, our state has taken a few steps that increase voting access for communities of [...]
Alabama is famous around the world for our historic fights over equal access to the polls. Our entire democratic system depends on how elections are structured and who can participate. When barriers exclude people from voting, they often lose faith in a system that doesn’t seem to value their voice in our society’s decision-making process. [...]
Alabama forever will be linked to the struggle for voting rights. An important question today is whether our state can shed its legacy of voter suppression, or whether we will continue to be seen as hostile to the idea of equal voting access and broad participation in democracy. A 2015 report on healthy democracies ranked Alabama [...]