We don’t endorse candidates, but we can stress what’s at stake this election cycle.

Extending and Ensuring Voting Rights

With flimsy excuses like “moral turpitude” historically blocking “felon” voting, states are moving to alleviate those restrictions. California extended the vote to people incarcerated for felonies in county jails. The state joins others—such as Maryland, Virginia, and Florida—in recent moves to reinstate the right to vote to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated persons.

In Maine, disability rights advocates are hosting voting education events.

As early voting begins, ProPublica’s Electionland has committed to spotting problems as they begin.

Police Brutality

It’s common knowledge that recording technology has changed how mainstream America views police violence. Videos have police killings,the intent behind those violent encounters, and police conspiracy to fabricate charges.

But they also are proving to be insufficient to curb police violence and misconduct. Studies show opportune use of the cameras, such as police activating the cameras only after episodes of violence, and laws restricting public access to the footage.

Racial Violence and Intimidation

An East Tennessee State University student, Tristan Rettke, has been charged with a felony under Tennessee’s Civil Rights Intimidation laws, after wearing a gorilla mask and handing out bananas at a Black Lives Matter protest in the campus’s free speech area. The ACLU pointed out that it is a violation of the First Amendment to charge him. The student has since withdrawn from the university.

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Leena is a 3L at HLS. She is from Tennessee. She received her B.A. in sociology and human rights from Columbia University. Prior to law school, Leena worked in communications at the NYCLU.

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