In recent years voters across the country have met barriers when they show up to the polls. From the implementation of strict photo ID laws to shortening the early voting period, Americans are increasingly facing disenfranchisement of their voting rights. Originally enacted in 1965 to reinforce voting rights and end discriminatory practices, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the protections it provides is weaker today. Many states have chipped away at VRA protections, passing restrictive voting laws that limit accessibility to early ballots, require hard to obtain legal documents to register or vote and strip the right to vote from individuals convicted of a crime. (To learn more about voting restrictions read Civic Nebraska’s earlier blog VRA: 50 years later)
In order to restore every citizen’s fundamental right to vote, it’s important that every citizen knows their voting rights.
Part of Civic Nebraska’s mission is to protect voting rights both through investigations, litigation and policy advocacy in the Nebraska Legislature. Previous elections have proven that the voting rights for some Nebraskans are not guaranteed and have been challenged and violated. In an effort to ensure that all Nebraskans voting rights are protected, Civic Nebraska has created the “Know Your Rights Campaign.”
Know Your Rights (KYR) is an up-to-date comprehensive guide of Nebraska’s voting laws and regulations. The goal of Know Your Rights is to empower Nebraska voters through education of their voting rights and stop voter disenfranchisement from happening in future elections. KYR details how Nebraskans can register to vote, the voting process itself, and challenges to eligibility along with other information.
The campaign stems off of Civic Nebraska’s mission to connect with traditionally disenfranchised Nebraskans by providing voting information for students, felons and voters with disabilities. With the implementation of this campaign, Civic Nebraska hopes to make voting accessible to every citizen and stop voter disenfranchisement from being a trend in Nebraska.
Be sure to spread the word as the campaign unfolds, knowledge and voting must be a community effort!
Join Civic Nebraska for Know Your Rights launch events in your community:
Lincoln – Thursday, September 17th, 5:30pm – 7pm at Non-Profit Hub
Omaha – Tuesday, September 22nd, 9am – 10:30am at UNO Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center