Protecting the Right to Vote
We work to protect and expand access to voting for every eligible American. We fight efforts to restrict voting and push to restore voting rights to people with past convictions. And we promote innovative solutions like Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) that make it easier to participate.
- Brennan Center research sounded the alarm that unfair purges could keep millions of people from voting this fall.
- Our signature AVR reform, adopted by 13 states and D.C., would add up to 50 million to the rolls, cost less, and boost security.
- We’re fighting to end lifetime disenfranchisement — a relic of Jim Crow — and restore rights to people with past convictions.
- Our slate of bipartisan policy proposals aims to break the grip of polarization and create a government that works for us all.
Reducing the Influence of Money in Politics
Since the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United, vast sums from a few large donors have come to dominate elections, meaning the wealthy now have a far greater say than ordinary Americans. We’re working for innovative reforms — above all, small-donor public financing — to give regular citizens a more powerful voice, even in the face of Super PACs and dark money.
It’s hardly new. But gerrymandering is getting worse, as politicians use increasingly sophisticated technology and data to lock in an advantage. This diminishes representation, reduces competition, and fuels a sense among voters that their ballots don’t matter. We’re helping lead the charge to end extreme-partisan gerrymandering — via the courts, citizen action, and statehouses across the country.
- Our research showed how gerrymandering may skew the 2018 midterms.
- In 2018, we’re working with grassroots groups to enact redistricting reform at the ballot box in four states.
- We’re urging the Supreme Court to crack down on extreme-partisan gerrymandering.
- We’re fighting against the Trump administration’s bid to undermine the Census – the key source of data for election maps.
Securing Elections from Foreign Interference
Foreign adversaries have targeted our democracy, launching cyberattacks on our voting infrastructure and using social media to influence public opinion. We are fighting for measures to protect our elections from sabotage.
- We are enlisting citizens to put pressure on officials to protect elections in 2018 and beyond. #ProtectTheVote
- We’re sounding the alarm about the ongoing threat of a foreign cyberattack and pushing Congress to do more.
- We’re helping states understand how they can make crucial changes to protect their election systems.
Ensuring Fair Courts
With judicial elections awash in money and judges increasingly subject to political attacks, the promise of evenhanded justice is at risk. We promote measures to protect judicial independence, achieve a diverse bench, and guard against political pressure and special-interest influence on the courts.
Strengthening the Institutions of Democracy
Today, long-established features of our constitutional democracy — among them adherence to the rule of law, depoliticized justice, freedom of the press, and basic ethical standards for public officials — are increasingly under threat. We’re sounding the alarm.
Voting is a right. It shouldn't be a fight. As the 2018 midterm elections approach, here's what you can do to make sure everyone's vote counts.
Join Brennan Center experts and election officials from around the country to discuss contingency planning and steps localities should take to be best prepared.