Today, we are witnessing the greatest assault on voting in over a century. Nearly 200 restrictive voting bills have been introduced in 41 states since 2011 and now new laws in 18 states (representing 78% of electoral votes needed to win the presidency) stand to make the voting more difficult – if not impossible for millions of eligible voters, disproportionately racial minorities, young voters, the working poor, the elderly and people with disabilities. The phenomenon underscores an important philosophical divide, with long-lasting implications, at the core of our notion of democracy – is voting a right or a privilege?
Denise Lieberman is the Senior Attorney at the Advancement Project, a leading nationwide voting rights organization based in Washington, DC. She spearhead efforts to identify, analyze, and respond to voter suppression efforts on the ground here in Missouri and nationwide through policy analysis, lobbying, legal advocacy, litigation, and community building to advance electoral reform. Ms. Lieberman has emerged as one of the nation’s leading experts on voter identification laws, litigating legal challenges to voter ID laws and proposals in several states, including successful legal challenge to photo ID ballot initiative in Missouri. She is also an adjunct professor at Washington University in St. Louis, teaching classes on civil rights, constitutional law, and voting rights. Previously, she served as legal director of the ACLU of Eastern Missouri.