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Resolutions & Amendments

43rd International Convention - Boston, MA (2018)

Voting Rights

Resolution No. 35
43rd International Convention
Boston Convention & Exhibition Center
July 16 - 20, 2018
Boston, MA


Conservatives and Republicans for years have waged a war on voting rights to suppress voting by populations that tend to pick Democrats; and


Voter suppression along with district gerrymandering and millions in corporate dollars have been crucial in the Republicans’ local and state electoral strategy of the last 25 years; and


Attacks on voting rights clearly violate the 1965 Voting Rights Act which was intended to remove legal obstacles at the state and local level that prevented African-Americans from exercising their rights as guaranteed under the 15th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution; and


On June 11, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision on an Ohio voting rights case that will make it easier for the state to purge infrequent voters from its voter rolls, a process that tends to disproportionately hurt young people, people with low incomes and people of color. In dissent, Justice Sotomayor stated that the majority’s decision entirely disregards the context of voter suppression against which the national Voting Rights Act was enacted and upholds a program that appears to further the very disenfranchisement of minority and low-income workers that Congress set out to eradicate; and


Ohio purged more than 2 million registered voters between 2011 and 2016, more than any other state. Black voters in the state’s largest counties were twice as likely as white voters to have been removed from the rolls.  NBC News reported, at least a dozen other politically conservative states said they would adopt a similar practice if Ohio prevailed; and


The Ohio decision comes on the heels of Shelby, decided in 2013, which struck down federal monitoring of districts with a history of discrimination and dramatically weakened the Voting Rights Acts. Since Shelby, courts have shown repeatedly that states such as Arizona, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia, freed from federal oversight, took license to discriminate and disenfranchise minority voters with a clear impact in the 2016 elections.


That AFSCME will work with civil rights organizations, other unions, clergy, and community-based and advocacy groups to develop an agenda for restoration of the Voting Rights Act; and


That AFSCME will work with an ample legislative coalition in Congress to support and pass bills supporting the restoration of the Voting Rights Act. 

Juan Fernandez, President and Delegate
Juliet White, Delegate
Sheera S. Glass, Delegate
Thomas Orawiec, Delegate
James Whooley, Delegate
AFSCME Local 154, District Council 37
New York