WASHINGTON, Oct. 27, 2022 — The American Bar Association Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice’s Task Force on Fair Elections and Voting Rights is calling on lawyers and law students to help ensure free, fair and safe elections. The Lawyers as Changemakers: Perfecting Democracy Initiative is nonpartisan and aimed at matching lawyers and law students with organizations that need voting rights assistance before, during and after the election.
“Why this effort now?” said Juan R. Thomas, chair of the section. “Because we are at a critical juncture in our democracy and lawyers have a moral and ethical obligation to defend the Constitution and to protect the right to vote for all.”
A website, Perfecting Democracy (americanbar.org), was launched this month with more information about the initiative and an application to sign up. Two new publications, Voting Rights Monograph and Redistricting Monograph, also are available on the website. They are designed to give a historical perspective and basic understanding about these two critical areas that impact our democracy daily. A social media campaign around the initiative on the section’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn accounts will be ongoing. The hashtag for the effort is #perfectingdemocracy.
Lawyers and law students can sign up on the website to help support democracy in two areas: the right to vote and nonpartisan redistricting. The initiative requires no election law experience. Interested parties will receive the training they need to become a changemaker lawyer.
The initiative, made possible through generous funding from the NEO Philanthropy State Infrastructure Fund, hopes to attract and encourage lawyers and law students to become involved in critical efforts that promote voting rights and strengthen election protection. “This is just the beginning, these efforts are a critical springboard to the 2024 elections. Our efforts will not stop on Nov. 8,” Thomas said. “We are steadfast in our commitment to protect the right to vote for all, especially in BIPOC communities.”
The ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice provides leadership within the legal profession in protecting and advancing human rights, civil liberties, and social justice. Representing nearly 10,000 members with a wide range of professional interests and expertise, the section keeps its members abreast of complex civil rights and social justice issues and ensures that they remain a focus of law and policy.
The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.