The United States is built upon a fair and just election system that must be regulated properly to ensure that American faith and confidence in the system is maintained. As such, the Foundation has argued in multiple cases for a stringent election process that includes safeguards against non-citizens registering to vote or voting. In some cases, this may involve requiring voters to provide proof of citizenship prior to registering to vote (particularly in states that have high non-citizen populations). Although some opponents to these regulations have claimed that the presence of Voter ID laws and similar safeguards are inherently discriminatory, the passage of such a law in North Carolina has been associated with an increase in African American turnout, possibly due to a greater commitment to the process as a result of this extra step in the process.
An additional aspect of the election process that the Foundation has focused on is the formation of voting districts. In some areas of the country, total population counts, which may include illegal immigrants, are used to design voting districts rather than the number of legal resident voters. When this occurs, many districts are left with disproportionately high (or low) levels of election influence and power in the hands of relatively fewer (or larger) number of voters. In a sense, the constitutional rights of many voters are being devalued for living in areas without non-citizen residents. AEF works on a state by state basis to restore district balance.
Read about these Foundation legal actions and more in our Amicus Briefs below.
The Foundation argued to the U.S. Supreme Court against the prior ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit that the the reduction of early voting, the prohibition of out-of-precinct voting, and the Voter ID requirement in the state was lawful and does not deny people an equal opportunity to participate based upon their race. Our brief argued that a lack of faith in electoral integrity discourages citizen participation in democracy, because the “electoral system cannot inspire public confidence if no safeguards exist to deter or detect fraud or to confirm the identity of voters,” and that unless a stay is issued by this Court, the Fourth Circuit’s opinion will undermine voter confidence in electoral integrity and create unnecessary voter confusion in the critical period before the general election.
The Foundation argued to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit supporting the state of Ohio's plan to reduce the early voting period for federal election from 35 days to 28 days. States are free to reduce early voting periods for various reasons, including the State’s need to maintain an orderly elections process that limits opportunities for voter fraud. Our brief argued that if it failed to reverse the lower court ruling, it “risks issuing a judgment that is not only wrong, but perverse, in that it might lead to lower voter turnout in direct contravention of one of the basic purposes of the Voting Rights Act.” We partnered with Judicial Watch on this action.
The Foundation argued here that the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina ruling that the the reduction of early voting, same-day voter registration, the prohibition of out-of-precinct voting, and the Voter ID requirement in the state was lawful and does not deny people an equal opportunity to participate based upon their race.
The Foundation again argued in support of the states of Kansas and Arizona that they be allowed to determine whether or not to include on their federal registration form state-specific instructions requiring voters in these two states to provide proof of citizenship prior to registration. We partnered with Judicial Watch on this action.
In this case, the Foundation argued against a Texas redistricting rule that drew up districts for the Texas state senate based on total population rather than the number of eligible voters. Because of this rule, voters in districts with large numbers of non-voting eligible residents would receive disproportionately higher power compared to voters in districts with higher numbers of legal residents. We partnered with Judicial Watch on this action.
Here, AEF argued in support of North Carolina's right to require a photo ID to cast a vote on Election day. We partnered with Judicial Watch on this action.
The Foundation argued in support of the states of Kansas and Arizona that they be allowed to determine whether or not to include on their federal registration form state-specific instructions requiring voters in these two states to provide proof of citizenship prior to registration. We partnered with Judicial Watch on this action.
Here, the Foundation argued against the federal policy of including unlawfully present aliens in the United States census figures to apportion seats in the House of Representatives. Due to this policy, the State of Louisiana alleges it was deprived of an additional Member of Congress an an additional elector in the Electoral College. We partnered with Judicial Watch on this action.
The Foundation argued that an Arizona proposition that voters show ID on election day and that when registering, voters should be required to present proof of citizenship, is constitutional. We partnered with Washington Legal Foundation on this action.