SCSJ is dedicated to empowering minority low-income communities in the South to achieve social and economic progress by responding to issues identified at the grassroots.
To be true, our democracy depends on all who are eligible being able to vote—we need policies that facilitate voting, not practices designed to make it harder for certain people to vote. Indeed, the right to vote is fundamental to all other rights. An important part of the work of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ) is to ensure that our political process is fair and open to equal participation by all citizens.
“We are now facing the most significant challenge to voting rights in North Carolina since the mid-1970s when literacy tests were still used in some counties to keep blacks from voting,” observes SCSJ’s Executive Director Anita Earls. First, racially gerrymandered legislative districts carve up some counties, like Durham, dividing neighbors and sometimes even dividing apartment complexes into different districts. The result is to pack black voters and weaken their ability to form effective cross-racial coalitions. Moreover, divided precincts result in voters having more difficulty knowing who will be on their ballot and some voters receiving the wrong ballot on Election Day. Second, and even more pernicious, we anticipate harsh photo ID laws that make no provision for the small percentage of voters who cannot easily obtain a photo ID. Partnering with the NAACP, Democracy NC, League of Women Voters and the A. Philip Randolph Institute, among others, we are fighting these unfair restrictions on the right to vote.