Panel on Oct. 17 to Discuss the Human Right to Vote

Published: Oct 15, 2012

Voter suppression measures in the context of international human rights will be the topic of a panel discussion at The University of Tampa on Oct. 17 at 6 p.m.

The panel discussion, “Voting Rights are Human Rights,” will be held in the Reeves Theater on campus and is free and open to the public.

The panelists include:

  • Jamil Dakwar, director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Human Rights Program;
  • Jotaka L. Eaddy, special assistant to the president and CEO and senior director for the Voting Rights Initiative at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP);
  • Julie Ebenstein of the ACLU of Florida;
  • Leon W. Russel, vice chairman of the NAACP Board of Directors.

The panelists will discuss how international human rights law has long recognized the right to vote as a fundamental prerequisite for the full and equal enjoyment of human rights, and the vital role that free, fair and transparent elections have in guaranteeing this essential right of citizen engagement.

They will also discuss how voting rights continue to be under attack in this country as state legislatures nationwide pass voter suppression laws that make it harder for Americans — particularly African-Americans, the elderly, students and people with disabilities — to exercise their fundamental constitutional and human right to cast a ballot.

Lastly, the panel will discuss ways to implement U.S. human rights commitments at the federal, state and local levels to more effectively protect the fundamental human right to vote.

The panel is sponsored by the ACLU of Florida, The University of Tampa’s Think Tank, U.S. Human Rights Network and the Hillsborough Branch of the NAACP.

For more information, contact Joyce Hamilton Henry, director of the Mid Florida Regional Office of the ACLU of Florida, at (813) 288-8505 or jhamiltonhenry@aclufl.org.