Voter Access and Engagement: Evidence to Strengthen Democracy
                                                                                                                                En Español
“Democracy thrives when it is practiced, not prevented.” 
   —John A. Payton, civil rights attorney

Important News

Missouri voters without ID no longer need to sign sworn statement 
In a ruling issued on Tuesday, October 23, Cole County Senior Judge Richard Callahan clarified that Missouri voters who do not have a photo ID do not need to sign a sworn statement to cast a ballot. Read more.

The Issue

A strong democracy depends on a guarantee that all Americans deserve and have the right to vote. Unfortunately, political trends in voter suppression are alarming. The Center for Social Development (CSD) uses its expertise to assess and test practical innovations that remove barriers to voting and enhance voter participation.

Role of Social Workers in Voting

Historically, a vital role for social workers is advocating for the human rights of people by employing voter registration and education as a method to fight for social justice. Social workers have been on the forefronts of many movements such as the Women’s Suffrage Movement, and have also provided leadership for equal access to voting by race with the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act of the 1960s. Defending the rights of individuals is an integral component of social work practice.

CSD’s goal is to build innovative strategies to change and improve opportunities to vote.

Our Core Value Solutions

  • Collaboration – Build partnerships with groups to address issues that promote voter inclusion and participation through innovation and research
  • Inclusion – Increase public awareness and engagement concerning voter inclusion, participation, and state voting laws
  • Innovation – Supporting agencies that are working for voter inclusion to build the next generation of voter protectors
  • Data-driven – Define and build a research agenda to collect data regarding voter participation policies

Our Approach

The Center for Social Development seeks to uphold and protect voting rights of all American citizens through research and social innovation. The focus of this new initiative is to:

  • Examine practices and policies
  • Investigate social conditions that threaten the right to vote
  • Test strategies for inclusive participation in the voting process

Learn more

Listen to Gena Gunn McClendon's interview with Joe Madison about Voter Access and Engagement.

See the concept paper for VAE. 

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