Undermining Our Own Democracy: The Exclusivity of the Vote
In our nation, the ability to vote is proclaimed as a right, hailed as a fundamental principle of American democracy. However, despite the numerous battles for suffrage throughout our history that resulted in constitutional amendments and the Voting Rights Act—gutted by Shelby County v. Holder (2013)—the "right" to vote very much remains an exclusive privilege. As we approach November, we are seeing rampant methods of voter suppression: stringent voter identification requirements, purges of voter rolls, elimination of early voting, inaccessibility to the polls, the persistence of felony disenfranchisement—all of which have disproportionate impacts on Black communities, individuals with disabilities, students, and the elderly. Join the American Constitution Society [and sponsors] for a discussion regarding the protection of our democracy when it is our own country, government, and systems that are working to subvert it.

PANELISTS:
Jennifer Nwachukwu, Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
Jennifer Nwachukwu serves as Counsel on the Voting Rights and Stop Hate projects. Her work focuses on advancing racial justice through voting rights litigation and election protection efforts, as well as community-based advocacy and policy work.

Before joining the Lawyers’ Committee, Jennifer worked as a law clerk in the Federal Coordination and Compliance and Coordination Section at the Department of Justice. While at DOJ, she trained federal employees and federal financial assistance recipients on Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and assisted in compliance reviews and investigations of recipients. Prior to that, she served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Pamela J. White in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City.

Jennifer received her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Baltimore School of Law, where she was a student attorney in the Civil Advocacy Clinic. She also served as the Community Service Chair and Vice President of the campus Black Law Students Association chapter, and received a Dean’s Citation for her service to the campus community. She holds a B.A. in Public Policy and Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

She is the author of “Community Development vs: Economic Development: Residential Segregation, Tax Credits, and the Lack of Economic Development in Baltimore’s Black Neighborhoods” in the University of Baltimore Journal of Land and Development.

Christina Asbee
Director, Protection and Advocacy for Voting Acces at Disability Rights New York
Christy joined DRNY in 2014 and is the PAAT, PATBI and PAVA Programs’ Director. Christy serves NYS residents with disabilities receiving, interested in receiving, or having difficulty obtaining assistive technology (AT). Christy has helped individuals receive devices such as motorized wheelchairs, speech generating devices, computers and training services and other AT devices.

Through PAVA, Christy advocates for voters with disabilities to ensure voting programs across NYS are accessible to all. Christy is experienced in both state and federal litigation, manages complex administrative matters, and negotiates with state and federal agencies on behalf of DRNY clients. She is a leading expert in advocacy for voting rights for people with disabilities and has lead DRNY to publish numerous reports about poll site inaccessibility across New York State.

Christy received her J.D. from Vermont Law School in 2011. Prior to law school, she received a B.S. from Elmhurst College in Chicago, IL, attended Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain, and worked for two years in Akita, Japan
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