Salons at Stowe


One Person, One Vote; Voting Rights 50 Years Later

November 19, 2015

Secretary of State Denise Merrill and Khalilah Brown-Dean, Associate Professor of Political Science at Quinnipiac University, led a conversation on voting rights in Connecticut and beyond. Professor Brown-Dean described her experiences visiting Selma for the 50th anniversary of the voting march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. The anniversary was bittersweet; it marked a momentous event in the Civil Rights Movement, but occurred at a time when voting rights are being stripped away. In June 2014, the Supreme Court struck down section four of the Voting Rights Act, which mandated that states with a history of racial discrimination in voting had to get federal approval before making changes in voting laws. Secretary of State Merrill argued that this decision opened an avenue for states to pass strict voting laws, such as those requiring photo identification, which disproportionately affect students, low-income and older individuals, and people of color. Secretary Merrill said that Connecticut has progressive voting laws, though the state still lacks opportunities for early voting.
Inspiration to Action

  • VOTE!
  • Coordinate a voter registration drive and encourage others to vote
  • Lobby and act against voter registration laws that disproportionately affect people of color, young people, and poor people
  • Learn about the history of the Voting Rights Act
  • Talk to children and young people about voting and what it means to take part in democracy
  • Take children and young people with you to vote
  • Lobby and campaign for more accessible voting practices, e.g. Election Day on the weekend, national holiday for election day, early voting etc.
  • Get involved in local and national politics
Location Harriet Beecher Stowe Center
Doors Open 5-7 PM
Program 5-7 PM