ALA Council resolution opposes voter restrictions

For Immediate Release
Tue, 07/10/2012

Contact:

Steve Zalusky
Manager of Communications
Public Information Office
(312) 280-1546
szalusky@ala.org

ANAHEIM, Calif. – The American Library Association (ALA) Council has passed a resolution opposing voter restrictions.

The resolution, passed at the ALA Annual Conference, held June 21-26 in Anaheim, Calif., opposes voter ID laws, restrictions on voter registration, cuts to early voting and any other laws resulting in the restriction of lawful access to voting.

It also encourages libraries, librarians and library support staff to “provide information to citizens to mitigate these restrictions should they remain in effect on Election Day.”

The resolution emphasizes that voting is an essential right of citizenship, noting that the 2008 national elections were the most racially diverse in American history, “helping to close the longstanding gap between whites and voters of color.”

But with the passage of voter suppression laws, according to the resolution, that gap is in danger of widening.

The resolution mentions that in the past there have been attempts to restrict voting through such means as poll taxes and literacy tests.  Now, it states, the latest tactics to suppress voting are voter ID laws, restrictions on voter registration, purging of voter rolls and cuts to early voting. The targets, it says, are “historically disenfranchised groups, including people of color, the elderly, students, and people with disabilities.”

Although voter fraud is exceedingly rare, voter suppression laws have been passed by 15 states and are pending in five more states (and passed but revoked in Maine).

Read the full text: Resolution on Voter Suppression in America (PDF).  

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