Voting Rights

Advancing the democratic process

Seven MILLION eligible Californians aren’t registered to vote.
Help change that.

The ACLU of California Voting Rights Project advances the democratic process by reducing barriers to registration, enforcing the Voting Rights Act, and building an educated, participatory grassroots.

Click here for California Voting Rights Resources

Since 2008, states across the country have passed measures to make it harder for Americans—and especially black people, elderly, students, and people with disabilities—to exercise their fundamental right to cast a ballot. Those measures include voter ID laws, cuts to early voting, and purges of voter rolls.

In 2013, in a massive blow to civil rights and democracy, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the current coverage formula of the Voting Rights Act. The ACLU is fighting this rollback of voting rights in the courts and in Congress. We also work to expand the right to vote for all by challenging criminal disenfranchisement laws and expanding same-day and online voter registration.

In California, we work to advance democratic participation in three major ways:

  • Reducing barriers to voter registration and participation through statewide election reform;
  • Enforcing California Voting Rights Act provisions to guarantee that every voter is given an equal opportunity to participate in our elections; and
  • Building an educated, participatory grassroots, especially among youth, the formerly incarcerated, and communities of color.

Many mistakenly believe that California is a safe haven for voting rights. Yet as of 2014, California’s voter registration rate ranks 38th in the nation. Nearly seven million eligible Californians are not registered to vote.

Help us improve California’s voter registration rates! Click here to Register to Vote online today!



Vote by Mail Not Enough, California Must Also Require Minimum Number of In-person Polls for November Elections

By: Brittany Stonesifer @ACLU_NorCal and Christina Fletes @ChristinaFletes As the coronavirus continues to spread, California’s elected officials must take swift action to protect the November elections. With... Read More

California to Allow Voters to Register to Vote at Every Polling Site on Election Day

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 8, 2019 Press Contact: Daisy Vieyra 916-824-3266 SACRAMENTO–Today, California Governor Newsom signed SB 72, legislation introduced by State Senator Thomas J.... Read More

Press Releases

California Legislature Votes to Make Election Day Registration Available at Every Polling Site

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 11, 2019 Press Contacts: Daisy Vieyra,, 916-824-3266 Elizabeth Leslie,, 916-842-7737 SACRAMENTO–Today, the California Legislature approved SB... Read More

Criminal Justice and Drug Policy

Free the Vote for Californians on Parole (ACA 6)

Our democracy is rooted in the idea that everyone’s voice matters. But right now, nearly 50,000 Californians on parole are unable to vote in local, state, or federal elections. Voter suppression tactics... Read More


Election Day Registration (SB 72)

There are currently 5.5 million eligible but unregistered voters in California. Registration and participation for Latino, Asian, and Black Californians continues to lag behind that of white voters. California must do... Read More