Virginia Voters’ Rights Cards: American Civil Liberties Union Distributes Voting Information

by   Posted on November 5th, 2009 in Uncategorized

Yasmin Tadjdeh, Asst. News Editor

With the election looming closer and closer, some students may not know what their rights as voters are. Whether it is that they are denied to vote because of lack of identification or even because of intimidation, the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia has for the last several years been passing out Voters’ Rights Cards in the hopes of informing voters of what their rights are come Election Day.

“The cards and hotline came about because people from around the state have contacted the ACLU of Virginia with election-related questions and concerns. For example, there have been concerns about voter intimidation, the need for identification at the polls, and college students registering to vote in the locality where they attend school rather than their hometowns.

In the past decade, the ACLU of Virginia has advocated on behalf of college students at the University of Mary Washington, Virginia Tech, Radford, Norfolk State and even filed a lawsuit on behalf of students at William & Mary,” said Elizabeth Wong, associate director of the ACLU of Va.

According to Wong, the ACLU of Virginia has been passing out Voters’ Rights Cards for the last dozen years. This year alone, the ACLU of Virginia has passed out over 35,000 cards in English and Spanish. Last year, during the presidential election, the organization distributed more than 50,000 cards. When distributing cards, the ACLU of Virginia has tried to focus on reaching historically disenfranchised groups.

“This year, for the first time, we sent it to hundreds of college student organizations throughout the state,” said Wong. “The cards are available to anyone who requests them, but we work to distribute them to organizations who work with low-income families and other communities that have historically had problems at the polls. The NAACP, as one of our co-sponsors, is one of the prime distributors of the cards. Knowing that language can be a barrier at the polls, we also produce the cards in Spanish and work to distribute them to Latino advocacy and civic groups,” said Wong.

Anyone wishing to view a Voters’ Rights Card can download one at If anyone has problems at the polls on Election Day, they are encouraged to call the ACLU of Virginia hotline at 804-644-8080.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>