Advocating for Voters

SCSJ is committed to reducing barriers to the ballot box and making the freedom to vote safe and accessible. SCSJ also supports full access to the ballot for all incarcerated or formerly-incarcerated voters.

As Southern state legislatures increase their attacks on democracy, SCSJ is increasing our support for advocacy, communications, and education initiatives to combat voter suppression while continuing to bring litigation where warranted. In conjunction with our election protection efforts, we work to ensure voters of color can participate in the political process freely and safely. Election protection and election administration must be a focus every year, not just in election years. Furthermore, simply reacting to bad policies is not enough — we must remain proactive in defense of voter rights.

Combat Voter Suppression cover image depicting voting rights rally outside the US supreme court

Voter Registration Types

Eliminating Barriers to Voting Access

Voter identification laws are just one of many strategies to roll back decades of progress on voting rights, especially in Southern states.  Thirty-four states have identification requirements at the polls. Of the seven states that have strict photo ID laws, under which voters must present one of a limited set of forms of government-issued photo ID in order to cast a regular ballot – no exceptions, the majority are in the South.

Voting Rights Restoration

People with past convictions face lifetime barriers to employment, housing, education, driver’s licenses, and other pathways to opportunity. These barriers make it difficult for returning citizens to achieve what we all seek: to support ourselves and our families, lead fulfilling lives, and positively contribute to our communities. Removing obstacles to opportunity not only allows returning citizens to move forward with their lives, but also improve public safety and economic prosperity across the South.

The Clean Slate toolkit provides guidance for individuals seeking expungement, helping people restore their voting rights.

Umar Muhammad Clean Slate Toolkit 2024

SCSJ continues to honor Umar Muhammad and his important work by providing free resources and information to individuals burdened with a criminal record. With a typical criminal record expungement costing between $1,500 and $2,000 in court costs and attorney’s fees, the toolkit is designed to help individuals navigate the process independently, making expunctions easier to obtain for people of color and economically underserved populations.
View the Toolkit Umar Muhammad Clean Slate Toolkit

Combatting Voter Suppression News

Voting Rights

Statewide Voting Rights Advocacy Groups Release 2020 General Election Protection Report Detailing NC Voting Trends

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 25, 2022 DURHAM, N.C. (February 25, 2022) — Each year, Democracy North Carolina and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ) work to identify and remove voting barriers. The 2020 Election Protection report documented our advocacy during one of the state’s highest turnout and safest elections on record. Central to our report is an analysis of…

Read More Statewide Voting Rights Advocacy Groups Release 2020 General Election Protection Report Detailing NC Voting Trends
Voting Rights

Protecting Against the Onslaught of Voter Suppression Efforts in the States: A Statement from the Voting Rights Working Group

READ THE FULL STATEMENT. (May 18, 2021) — As a nation, we have a shared commitment and responsibility to protect the voices and the rights of American voters. Our systems of democracy are made stronger when we all are respected and heard. A representative and effective government starts with free and fair access to the vote.…

Read More Protecting Against the Onslaught of Voter Suppression Efforts in the States: A Statement from the Voting Rights Working Group