Resolution on Voter Suppression in America
WHEREAS, voting is an essential citizenship right; and
WHEREAS, past attempts to restrict voting have included poll taxes and literacy tests; and
WHEREAS, the 2008 national elections were the most racially diverse in American history, closing the longstanding gap between whites and voters of color; and
WHEREAS, voter ID laws, restrictions on voter registration, and cuts to early voting are the latest tactics for suppression of voting by historically disenfranchised groups, including people of color, the elderly, students, and people with disabilities; and
WHEREAS, up to 11% of Americans lack government-issued IDs, and up to 7% lack official documents proving their citizenship; and
WHEREAS, proponents of voter suppression laws have failed to show that voter fraud is a problem anywhere in the country, and that voter fraud is exceedingly rare; and
WHEREAS, voter suppression laws have been passed by 15 states, and are pending in 5 more states (and passed but revoked in Maine);
RESOLVED, that the American Library Association (ALA):
1. Opposes voter ID laws, restrictions on voter registration, cuts to early voting, and any other laws intended to restrict lawful access to voting;
2. Encourages libraries and librarians to provide information to citizens to mitigate these restrictions should they remain in effect on Election Day.
3. Disseminate this resolution to all state Governors, members of state legislatures, and ALA state chapters.
Al Kagan, SRRT Councilor, 217-819-9975
Mary Biblo, Councilor at Large