News and Publications
NVRI is involved daily in efforts to protect voting rights, expand the franchise to include more Americans, and make the system more fair for all. We no longer provide links to newspaper stories discussing NVRI work, because those links become inactive too quickly. Following is information - press releases, opinion pieces, and more - distributed by NVRI about our work. To sign up for frequent updates about NVRI, click here.
Read the latest at NVRI:
New developments in NVRI work, listing chronologically from the most recent item.
- NVRI Joins Call for Paper Ballots Standard (December 18, 2006)
- NVRI, Demos Call for Revote in Florida's 13th District (November 15, 2006)
- Read Stuart Comstock-Gay’s comments about the value of recounts in a chaotic election world (November 6, 2006)
- E-News Update: Election Protection Hotline Available Again this Year (November 2, 2006)
- Danetz on "a tale of two states" - NVRA in Ohio and North Carolina (October 30, 2006)
- Tell Congress "I Shouldn’t Need a Passport to Vote" (September 19, 2006)
- Repair the problems with Ohio’s elections systems, says renewed NVRI claim (September 13, 2006)
- NVRI files Brief in "vote-swapping case" from 2000 Presidential Election (August 7, 2006)
- Stealing Democracy: Book Discussion and Reception Wednesday, August 2 in Washington, DC (July 26, 2006)
- NVRI's Analysis of the Supreme Court's Decision in Randall v. Sorrell (pdf) (July 5, 2006)
- Splintered Supreme Court Overturns Vermont's Campaign Spending, Contribution Limits (June 26, 2006)
- Study Shows Campaign Contribution Limits Do Not Harm Challengers (June 1, 2006)
- NVRI-Demos Partnership Celebration Wednesday 5/31 in Boston (May 24, 2006)
Broad Coalition Seeks Federal Court Intervention to Assure HAVA Compliance in New York (May 18, 2006)
NVRI joined a broad coalition of voter-eligible citizens as well as disability, civic and civil rights organizations in filing a motion to intervene in a lawsuit brought by the Department of Justice against New York State and its election officials. This coalition seeks an injunction requiring the State to comply with the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) and interrelated New York law, to submit an effective compliance plan with the court, and to ensure a legal implementation process that will vindicate the rights of all eligible voters, including those with disabilities and limited English proficiency. Read a press release about the lawsuit here.
For further details, click here to read the Memorandum of Law in support this intervention, and click here to read the proposed Complaint to be filed by the intervenors.
NVRI and Others Notify Ohio of NVRA Failures and Threaten Litigation (May 18, 2006)
NVRI, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Project Vote, and Dechert LLP sent a letter to Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, notifying him of the state's violation of the public assistance provisions of the National Voter Registration Act. (Read the letter here.) The letter, sent on behalf of the Ohio chapter of ACORN, is intended to provide the Secretary of State with a final opportunity to bring Ohio into compliance before the initiation of litigation to enforce the law. Click here to read a press release announcing this action.
- NVRI signs formal collaboration agreement with Demos: A Network for Ideas and Action (May 9, 2006)
Click here for an E-News update by Executive director Stuart Comstock-Gay, and click here to read a joint NVRI-Demos press release on this announcing the affiliation.
NVRI Urges Congress to Renew and Strengthen the Voting Rights Act (May 3, 2006)
NVRI and 95 other organizations joined the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), a nationwide coalition of civil rights organizations, in urging the U.S. House of Representatives to pass H.R. 9, a bill to reauthorize and strengthen the Voting Rights Act before key provisions of the Act expire in 2007. Read the coalition's letter (pdf) to the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and other members of Congress, advocating their continued leadership on this important issue. Hearings on the reauthorization issue start this week.
- Indictments Handed Down in Ohio Recount Foul-ups (April 6, 2006)
NVRI Joins Letter Charging New Georgia Voting ID is Discriminatory (March 28, 2006)
NVRI joined a coalition of more than two dozen civil rights, community, religious and citizen advocacy groups as well as a consortium of private attorneys, asking the U.S. Department of Justice to block a new Georgia law that requires a photo ID to cast a ballot. In the letter, the groups say that the context surrounding passage of the “new” Voter ID law in the Peach State is, if anything, even more indication that this is a discriminatory law. Read the letter here.
- Transcript of February 28 Oral Argument from Supreme Court Case Now Available (pdf) (March 17, 2006)
- Brenda Wright's Testimony Before the U.S. Election Assistance Commission on the National Voter Registration Act (pdf) (March 14, 2006)
To access the agenda and testimonies of other panelists, click here
- Senator Simpson Weighs in on Spending Limits (March 10, 2006)
- NVRI Comments on Supreme Court Review of Vermont Spending Limit Law (March 1, 2006)
- U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Watershed Campaign Spending Limits Case (February 28, 2006)
- Motion Filed Before Judge Carr Seeking a Reconsideration of His Ruling in the Recount Case (February 17, 2006)
- Briefs Filed in Watershed Campaign Spending Limits Case (February 9, 2006)
- NVRI Disappointed in Dismissal of Vote Recount Lawsuit (February 7, 2006)
- Judge's Decision in Favor of Major Donor Cries Out for Supreme Court Review (February 3, 2006)
- E-NEWS ACTION ALERT – Act by Friday to Support Spending Limits (February 2, 2006)
- NVRI E-Update: Notes from E.D. Stuart Comstock-Gay (January 5, 2006)
- Lawsuit to Reform Ohio Elections Moves Forward (December 5, 2005)
- Brenda Wright's Testimony Before Congress on Voting Rights Act Reauthorization (pdf) (November 1, 2005)
- Brenda Wright's testimony at Mississippi hearing on Voting Rights Act Reauthorization (pdf) (October 29, 2005)
- Voting Rights Act Needs to be Reauthorized - NVRI to Testify (October 27, 2005)
- October 25 Panel Discussions in DC to Discuss Spending Limits (October 20, 2005)
- NVRI Board Member Spencer Overton Talks About Why the Carter-Baker Commissions' Voter ID Law is a Bad Idea (September 27, 2005)
- U. S. Supreme Court to Review Campaign Spending Limits (September 27, 2005)
- What’s the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) and Why Does It Matter? (September 22, 2005)
- NVRI Joins Challenge to Carter-Baker Recommendations (September 20, 2005)
- NVRI Files Brief for Student Government Spending Limits (September 20, 2005)
- Response to Blackwell Filed in Challenge to Ohio Voting System (September 19, 2005)
- NVRI Files Amended Complaint in Ohio Recount Case (September 19, 2005)
- Federal Judge Sets Expedited Schedule for Lawsuit Challenging Disenfranchisement in Ohio (September 15, 2005)
- Federal Court in Toledo, Ohio Sets Trial Date for Ohio Recount Case (September 14, 2005)
- Is Senator Kerry Getting Out of the Ohio Recount Case? (August 25, 2005)
- Stuart Comstock-Gay Talks About Why the Fully Reauthorized Voting Rights Act is Still Needed (August 5, 2005)
- Video of August 2 Debate Available (August 2, 2005)
- Challenging Ohio's Election System - "This System Needs Reform Now" (July 28, 2005)
Video of Jesse Jackson, Jr. Speaking on a Constitutional Amendment for the Right to Vote Now Available Online (July 13, 2005)
In an event co-sponsored by NVRI, Jesse Jackson, Jr. made an impassioned speech to a standing room only crowd at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts on April 25. Jackson exhorted the crowd to help build a more perfect union, and to support a Constitutional right to vote in America.
"As we try to spread democracy to Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, it might be wise, first, to look in the mirror, to take a serious look at our own house, and to analyze our own democracy. . In 2000 and 2004 - indeed in every election - if every American had had an individual constitutional right to vote, then every vote would have had to be counted. I want to build a more perfect union. Join me."
To see the video of the event, click here.
To see his printed remarks, click here.
- NVRI Announces August 2 Debate on Campaign Spending Limits (pdf) (July 13, 2005)
Georgia Voter ID Law Called Discriminatory (July 8, 2005)
NVRI and two dozen other civil rights, religious, labor and advocacy groups in urging the Department of Justice to block implementation of a new Georgia law which they say will have a substantially negative "racial impact" on minority voters. In a letter submitted on July 8, we argue that a new photo identification requirements contained in Georgia House Bill 244 are unnecessary and were purposefully adopted to make minority voters worse off.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 requires that any changes to election laws in nine states, including Georgia, as well as portions of seven others, receive clearance from federal officials before going into effect. The law reduces the various forms of identification that voters can use from 17 to six, and makes photo identification absolutely required in order to vote. The law is particularly harmful to African Americans, who are nearly six times more likely than whites in Georgia to live below the poverty line. And because Georgia has only 56 Department of Motor Vehicle Services offices statewide, compared to its 159 counties, African Americans will face increased obstacles and costs to securing photo identification, said the groups. Moreover, the state did not make an adequate case that this protection is necessary. Read the letter here.
- Broad Coalition Urges US Supreme Court to Review Campaign Spending Limits Case (June 15, 2005)
- NVRI Brief on Behalf of V-PIRG and Others, Seeking Supreme Court Review of Vermont Campaign Spending Limits (pdf) (June 15, 2005)
- NVRI E-Update: Notes from E.D. Stuart Comstock-Gay (June 9, 2005)
- Conyers Report on 2004 Ohio Election Problems Published (May 18, 2005)
- Campaign Spending Limits Moving to The Supreme Court (May 12, 2005)
- Federal Appeals Court in Washington Hears Longstanding NVRI Case on Partisan Nature of CPD (May 10, 2005)
- The Federal District Court in Columbus, Ohio has transferred the recount case to Federal Judge Judge Carr in Toledo (May 10, 2005)
- NVRI E-Update: Notes from E.D. Stuart Comstock-Gay (May 5, 2005)
- Vote Swapping Overseas Mirrors NVRI's work in California (April 30, 2005)
- Executive Director Stuart Comstock-Gay, in a piece published by UPI, compares the NFL's salary cap with the lack of one in baseball -- and politics -- and founds the former a good model. (April 27, 2005)
- Second Circuit Issues New Concurring and Dissenting Opinions in Spending Limits Case. (April 20, 2005)
- Securing the Right to Vote as a Citizenship Right (April 20, 2005)
- NVRI Releases Detailed Analysis of the Second Circuit's Landell Ruling, and Where We Go From Here. (April 12, 2005)
- Voter ID Supporters Lack Hard Evidence: NVRI Board Member Spencer Overton Talks about the Proposals to Require Photo ID for Voters, in an Opinion Column in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. (pdf) (April 8, 2005)
- NVRI E-Update: Notes from E.D. Stuart Comstock-Gay (April 5, 2005)
- NVRI E-Update: Notes from E.D. Stuart Comstock-Gay (March 9, 2005)
- The Ohio Recount -- The Saga Continues -- New Filings From The Kerry-Edwards Campaign Support NVRI's Claim That The Recount Was Simply Not Done Right (February 25, 2005)
- Campaign Spending Limits Upheld Still!!
Read the Press Release (pdf)
(February 14, 2005)
- NVRI Files Brief Claiming New York State Policies Disenfranchise Felons, Discriminate Against Racial Minorities (January 31, 2005)
- Why the Recount Still Matters, and What's Next (January 26, 2005)
- NVRI E-Update: Notes from E.D. Stuart Comstock-Gay (January 10, 2005)
- Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio (pdf) (January 5, 2005)
- NVRI Executive Director Stuart Comstock-Gay Discusses the Ohio Recount in an Opinion Article Published in Tom Paine.com (pdf) (December 21, 2004)
- NVRI E-Update: Notes from E.D. Stuart Comstock-Gay (December 15, 2004)
- Advocates Vow Continued Defense of Campaign Spending Limits Following Supreme Court's Denial of Review in Albuquerque Spending Limits Case (pdf) (November 29, 2004)
- NVRI Joins Call for Recount in Ohio — "It is imperative that every citizen's vote be counted." (November 15, 2004)
- E-Update Special Edition — Day Before the Election (November 1, 2004)
- Iowa Protecting Voters in Response to NVRI Advocacy (October 25, 2004)
- Boston Globe Editorializes in Favor of a Review of Buckley v. Valeo (pdf) (September 25, 2004)
- NVRI E-Update: Notes from E.D. Stuart Comstock-Gay (September 2004)
- Federal Court Rejects Student's First Amendment Challenge to Spending Limits (pdf) (August 23, 2004)
- Second Circuit Court of Appeals Finds Campaign Spending Limits Constitutional Under Right Conditions (pdf) (August 18, 2004)
- Federal Court Rules Against Federal Election Commission in Presidential Debates Case (pdf) (August 13, 2004)
- NVRI Joins Defense Over Limits on Spending in Student Government Elections at University of Montana (pdf) (June 04, 2004)
A regular message from NVRI Director Stuart Comstock-Gay about NVRI activities. To sign up for these updates, click here.
Following are some recent articles and opinion pieces written by NVRI staffers.
Recounting the Vote: Executive Director Stuart Comstock-Gay discusses the importance of recounts in improving elections systems, TomPaine.com. (November 6, 2006)
Registering Indifference: NVRI Staff Attorney Lisa Danetz discusses vastly different reactions from two states confronting their shortcomings in voter registration, on TomPaine.com (October 30, 2006)
Blow To Fair Elections: NVRI Executive Director Stuart Comstock-Gay comments on the Supreme Court's decision in Randall v. Sorell, on TomPaine.com (June 28, 2006)
Brenda Wright's Testimony Before Congress on Voting Rights Act Reauthorization (pdf) (November 1, 2005)
The Carter-Baker ID Card Proposal: Worse Than Georgia: NVRI Board Member Spencer Overton Talks About Why the Carter-Baker Commissions' Voter ID Law is a Bad Idea.
In unveiling the Carter-Baker Election Reform Commission's proposal on voter identification, former President Jimmy Carter condemned Georgia's recently enacted voter ID law. He labeled the Georgia law -- which makes government-issued photo ID an absolute requirement to vote -- a discriminatory poll tax that should be "overthrown by the courts." He tried to distinguish the Carter-Baker ID proposal by asserting that it had adequate safeguards to ensure that legitimate voters would not be excluded.
But the Carter-Baker proposal is more exclusionary than any state ID law -- including Georgia's... (September 27, 2005)
Voting Rights Act — all of it — still needed after 40 years: In 1965, a landmark law was passed that banned discrimination during elections. Here's why -- 40 years later -- America still needs it. NVRI Executive Director Stuart Comstock-Gay wrote this piece for TomPaine.com. (August 5, 2005)
Why Spending Limits Are Necessary (pdf): NVRI Managing Attorney Brenda Wright presents a new take on spending limits in the National Law Journal. (June 27, 2005)
Sports and Politics. Executive Director Stuart Comstock-Gay, in a piece published by UPI (The NFL's Salary Cap, Baseball, and Politics), compares the NFL's salary cap with the lack of one in baseball -- and politics -- and finds the former a good model. A similar piece (What Politics Can Learn from the NFL) appears in TomPaine.com. (April 27, 2005, June 16, 2005).
Voter ID Supporters Lack Hard Evidence (pdf): NVRI Board Member Spencer Overton Talks about the Proposals to Require Photo ID for Voters, in an Opinion Column in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. (April 8, 2005).
A New Frame - a New Constitutional Amendment (pdf): In a speech at an American University conference, NVRI General Counsel John Bonifaz on Why a Constitutional Amendment for the Right to Vote Can Help Move Voting Rights Forward in America. (March 31, 2005).
Why the Recount Still Matters. Even after the vote has been certified, the recount still matters. Read why. (January 10, 2005).
Recounting the Ohio Votes. Executive Director Stuart Comstock-Gay discusses the Ohio recount. (December 21, 2004).
Congressional testimony (pdf). General Counsel John Bonifaz testifies before Congress about the outrage in the Ohio vote count. (December 8, 2004).
Democracy for Millionaires. Executive Director Stuart Comstock-Gay talks about money in politics, and campaign spending limits. (September 22, 2004).
The Donor Class: Campaign Finance, Democracy and Participation. A scholarly paper by NVRI board member Spencer Overton, in which he shows that the donor class effectively determines which candidates possess the resources to run viable campaigns. (Fall 2004).
Free Speech and Corporations. Staff Attorney Lisa Danetz discusses important litigation about corporations and the law. (April 2004).
Why Public Financing of Elections is Constitutional, by Managing Attorney Brenda Wright. (April 2004).
The New Poll Tax: What Blacks Need to Know about Campaign Finance (pdf). Board member Spencer Overton talks about money and race in the NAACP publication, The Crisis. (January 2004).
Is John Ashcroft above the Law? Staff Attorney Bonnie Teneriello on NVRI's efforts to press the FEC to enforce campaign finance laws against Attorney General Ashcroft. (December 18, 2003).
Campaign Reform's Next Step (pdf). Board member Spencer Overton urges more attention to small-dollar donors in American politics. (December 2003).
More Hard Money in U.S. Elections. General Counsel John Bonifaz discusses the McCain-Feingold law and its increase in hard money contribution limits. (December 11, 2003).
Robed in Secrecy (pdf). Staff attorney Bonnie Tenneriello and Texans for Public Justice Director Craig MacDonald talk about Texas corporations and the Texas Supreme Court. (October 2003).
Elephant in the Courtroom. Staff Attorney Bonnie Teneriello on the limits of the McCain-Feingold legislation. (September 4, 2003).
Ashcroft's Little Secret. Staff Attorney Lisa Danetz writes on the Ashcroft funding violations. (August 26, 2003).
To Work, Campaign Laws Have to Be Enforced (pdf). Attorney Lisa Danetz calls for the Federal Elections Commission to take its job seriously. (April 2002).
Poverty, Race & Campaign Finance Reform. John Bonifaz discusses the crisis in American democracy. Poverty & Race newsletter, (Sept/Oct. 1999).
Brenda Wright, Minority Vote Dilution Is Still Illegal, Southern Changes, Vol. 22, No. 4 (Winter 2000).
Brenda Wright, Young v. Fordice: Challenging Dual Registration Under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, 18 Miss. Coll. L. Rev. 67 (Fall 1997).
Brenda Wright, Johnson v. De Grandy: Mixed Messages on Equal Electoral Opportunity Under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, 3 D.C. L. REV. 101 (Spring 1995).
Brenda Wright, Is race-conscious districting to achieve minority representation constitutional? Yes: Toward a Politics of Inclusion, ABA JOURNAL, July 1993.
Brenda Wright, The Bench and the Ballot: Applying the Protections of the Voting Rights Act to Judicial Elections, 19 FLA. ST. U. L. REV. 669 (Winter 1992).
Other articles of interest
John C. Bonifaz, Gregory G. Luke and Brenda Wright, "Challenging Buckley v. Valeo: A Legal Strategy," 33 Akron Law Review 39 (1999).
John C. Bonifaz, "'Not the Rich, More than the Poor': Poverty, Race, and Campaign Finance Reform," Poverty & Race, Sept./October 1999.
John C. Bonifaz and Jamin Raskin, "The Constitutional Imperative and the Practical Superiority of Democratically Financed Elections," 94 Columbia Law Review 1160 (1994)
John C. Bonifaz and Jamin Raskin, "Equal Protection and the Wealth Primary," Yale Law and Policy Review, 11 Yale Law & Policy Review 273 (1993).
Copies of NVRI newsletters. The regular NVRI newsletter is currently on hiatus.
Sign Up for our News Email List
By signing up for this email list, you will receive the latest news about the Institute as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Expect updates about what's new on the site and with the Institute in general.
Required fields are marked with * below.