Washington, DC - August 11, 2014
Rock the Vote, the non-profit and non-partisan organization dedicated to building political power for young people, announced today the launch of a newly formed coalition dedicated to protecting voting rights across the US. The announcement comes on the heels of a decision late Friday by a North Carolina judge to allow a package of new laws designed to suppress youth and minority turnout to remain in effect.
Over 50 partner organizations, including Advancement Project, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, GLAAD, The Latino Victory Fund, The United States Student Association, and Young Invincibles have joined with Rock the Vote to raise awareness, educate voters and organize against laws that make it harder for young people and people of color vote. The coalition’s website ProtectVoting.com, features a petition and educational information about voting.
In addition, Rock the Vote released a new web video featuring musicians Bleachers, Spoon, Chromeo, The Head and The Heart, Ryan Cabrera, Cut Copy, Martin Garrix and others speaking about the need to protect voting rights and exercise your right to vote this year.
“Rock the Vote is proud to partner with a coalition of advocacy organizations to keep the issue of voting rights front and center in the months leading up to the Midterms,” Ashley Spillane, President of Rock the Vote. “States across the country are trying to make it more difficult for young people and minorities to vote, and dismantling laws designed to boost participation among millennial and first-time voters. The exclusion of eligible citizens in the American electoral system is one of the most serious and dangerous problems facing our democracy right now.”
In response to a judge’s ruling Friday to allow restrictive voting laws that require ID to vote, eliminate same-day registration and mandatory high school voter registration drives, toss pre-registration for 16 and 17 year olds, and shorten the state’s early-voting period to remain in effect, Rock the Vote said this in a statement:
“Despite the efforts of many to ensure that the 26th Amendment – which gives 18-year-olds the right to vote – protects young people against laws and policies designed to make it harder for them to vote, the court chose to ignore the irreparable harm being caused by an infringement on the constitutional rights of America’s youth by allowing NC HB589 to remain in effect in spite of the student's request.
Rock the Vote is deeply disappointed by the court’s decision that allows HB589 to remain in place even though it disproportionately impacts young people’s right to vote in the state of North Carolina. By eliminating same-day voter registration, pre-registration of 16- and 17-year- olds, and mandatory high school registration drives, North Carolina has sanctioned discrimination against the country’s youngest, largest and most diverse generation. Rock the Vote strongly opposes NC HB 589, and will continue to fight on behalf of America’s young adults to ensure that their voting rights are protected.”
Audrey Gelman | firstname.lastname@example.org | 646-436-3296