Campus Vote Project Blog

The CVP Blog keeps you up-to-date on the latest election-related information and provides insight on how to best engage with students, campus administrators and election officials.

SCOTUS Delivers Victory for Voting Rights in NC

by Rachel Clay, Southeast Regional Coordinator On Monday, April 15, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear North Carolina’s appeal of a federal court of appeals ruling which struck down parts of a restrictive voting law in the state. After years of battling in the courts, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals last July found that the state legislature explicitly set out to discover the kind of voting methods minority voters use most often, like early voting on Sundays, and roll back or eliminate them, targeting African Americans “with almost surgical precision.” While the ruling struck down a number of restrictive voting laws, one of the most notable is the elimination of the voter ID requirement. The significance of a victory like this, in North Carolina, a state deeply embedded in history as a battleground for civil and voting rights, should not be lost. In 2013, the Supreme Court nullified parts of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, removing existing preclearance requirements and causing the VRA to be all but unenforceable. North Carolina was covered under preclearance prior to this decision, and preclearance served to protect the rights of African American and minority voters. North Carolina become the first state after the 2013 decision to enact a voter suppression law free of the oversight of preclearance. In the month following the decision, the state Senate transformed Bill 589, a 16-page bill about voter ID laws, to a 56-page bill that would be the worst voter suppression bill in North Carolina history, and arguably the country. The bill proposed strict voter ID requirements, a reduction in early voting days, the...

Make MLK Day a Day of Service

By Debi Lombardi, CVP Field Director The right to vote is a critical piece of our civil rights.  It wasn’t until the 15th Amendment was ratified in 1870 that African American men gained the right to the ballot box, almost a 100 years after the United States was founded. Still, weighted down by poll taxes, literacy tests, racism, fear mongering, and other means of oppression many did not vote or even get registered for nearly 100 more years. The 1960s Civil Rights movement and the passing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 eventually enabled many African Americans to cast a ballot. Today, we celebrate one prominent leader of the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. During his famous “Give us the Ballot” speech, he states, “The denial of this sacred right is a tragic betrayal of the highest mandates of our democratic tradition. And so our most urgent request to the president of the United States and every member of Congress is to give us the right to vote.” The fight for access to the ballot for many Americans continues to this day and Dr. King’s words and efforts to protect the rights of all Americans inspire those who work to protect the right to vote. Each Martin Luther King Day, Americans come together in acts of service to honor the Civil Rights leader. In light of King’s fight for voting rights and dedication to service, here are some ways you can participate in this day and continue Dr. King’s mission. Register to vote. The federal election is over but there will be many local and...