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No Coincidence?

(09/28/2012) Because of the state’s new voter ID law, Governor Bob McDonnell issued Executive Order No. 45 requiring the State Board of Elections (SBE) to issue new voter registration cards to Virginia voters to ensure all voters had a free, acceptable form of identification to use at the polls. In that same executive order, the Governor also directed SBE to launch a public education campaign to inform voters about the changes to the state’s voter ID requirements. Both the process for issuing the new registration cards and the public education program are flawed, however. read more »

Student Voter Registration Made Easy

(09/05/2012) For those students who would like to vote in their first (presidential) election and are away at college on November 6, the question is where will they register to vote? read more »

VDH List of No-Cost Ultrasound Providers is Unreliable for Abortion Patients

(08/29/2012) Concerned about how the ultrasound law will affect women’s reproductive freedom, the ACLU of Virginia has been monitoring its implementation. One issue that has come to light is that VDH’s list of facilities providing no-cost ultrasounds to women seeking abortions is unreliable. read more »

Voter ID Pre-Clearance — Disappointed, but not Surprised

(08/21/2012) This week the U.S. Justice Department pre-cleared Virginia’s new voter ID law under the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The Justice Department’s decision means that the law will be in effect during this fall’s elections. As we said in expressing disappointment in the Governor’s decision to sign the voter ID bill into law last May, the new voter ID law is a solution to a problem – voter impersonation fraud – that by all accounts does not exist in Virginia. read more »

Working Together for One Person, One Vote

(08/02/2012) Passage of Virginia's new law requiring all voters to show identification at the polls is bound to cause some confusion on Election Day, November 6, 2012. However, the State Board of Elections and voting rights' advocacy groups, including the ACLU, are working hard to ensure that the elections are fair and votes are counted. read more »

Carrying on a Legacy: Rights Restoration

(07/26/2012) Perhaps being born on the fourth of July should have been a sign that Sen. Yvonne Miller was destined to be a great civic leader. In 1983, she was elected as the first African-American woman to sit in the Virginia House of Delegates and four years later as the first African-American woman to serve in the state Senate. In spite of – and likely because of – her life experiences, Sen. Miller was a champion of civil rights issues. Among her causes was the restoration of voting rights. read more »

Eyewitness Identification Reform Should be Realized

(07/20/2012) As the old Latin proverb goes, “to err is human.” Police officers and eyewitnesses in investigations are no exception. Proof of such humanity is evident in the 294 people who were convicted in criminal cases and subsequently exonerated by DNA evidence in the United States. 15 of those cases were in Virginia. read more »

State Police Won’t be Doing Immigration; Bias-based Policing Remains a Concern

(07/05/2012) Governor McDonnell announced last week that his request that some state police officers be deputized by the federal government to engage in immigration law enforcement was rejected (without fanfare or public notice) last February. This is good news for everyone living and working in the Commonwealth. read more »

A SLAPP in the Face of the First Amendment

(06/27/2012) It’s a bit shocking to think that government officials believe they can silence residents who oppose a building project by suing them, but that’s just what one regional jail authority seems to be considering. The Rappahannock, Shenandoah and Warren Counties Regional Jail Authority directed its attorney to research whether the Authority can sue a group of Shenandoah residents who have tried to stop a jail project. read more »

Title IX: It’s Not Just about Sports

(06/20/2012) Title IX, a groundbreaking statute intended to end sex discrimination in education, became law on June 23, 1972. While most famous for its requirement that schools provide girls with equal athletic opportunities, Title IX is not just about sports...It benefits both boys and girls and is the lynchpin of decades of efforts to promote and establish gender equity in schools. read more »

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