The New York Democratic Lawyers Council (NYDLC) - the voter protection arm of the New York State Democratic Committee - is a coalition of attorneys, law students, and voting rights advocates who have a deep commitment to Democratic politics and who share the common goal of protecting each citizen’s right to vote.
NYDLC members are dedicated to fostering universal participation and trust in the electoral process by ensuring that:
- all eligible persons can register to vote easily;
- all registered voters are able to vote conveniently, fairly, and without intimidation; and,
- all votes are counted accurately by transparent and reliable voting systems.
NYDLC welcomes attorneys, law students, educators, and others who support voting rights and share a passion for improving democracy to be a member of our organization. You can join NYDLC by clicking here. Membership costs $25/year and includes our weekly Democratic Law Briefs voting rights newsletter and discounts on CLEs and NYDLC events. *NYDLC's financial hardship policy (up to 100% exemption) will be granted upon request.
The New York Democratic Lawyers Council protects voting rights through three main prongs of civic engagement:
Election Monitoring - NYDLC recruits, trains, and deploys attorneys and pro-voter advocates to protect civil rights on Election Day at the polls, and assists with voter registration and education prior to Election Day. (See our Election Monitoring info page).
Pro-Voter Advocacy - Members advocate for improvements in election laws and processes and against restrictive voting laws in New York City, New York State, and across the country through direct advocacy, legal research and drafting legislation or policy memos, and advising Elected Officials. Visit our Legislative Affairs Committee page for more information.
Education and Community Empowerment - NYDLC advocates bring the issue of voting rights to the forefront of civic discourse. We convene CLE programs for attorneys and panel discussions on issues relevant to our mission and partner with community groups, political clubs, district leaders, and other civic organizations to raise awareness about the importance of participating in our democracy. Our flexible voting rights curriculum can be modified to fit the particular needs of various audiences. NYDLC's CLE Committee and Minority Voting Rights Committee are the driving forces behind our education and community empowerment programming.
We encourage you to get involved in initiatives you are passionate about. With NYDLC you can:
- Protect the right to vote by serving as an Election monitor in NY and battlegrounds
- Advance our pro-voter legislative agenda by assisting with policy research and advocacy
- Organize, organize, organize! Plan voting rights events for attorneys, law students, and advocates
- Host a fundraising or recruiting event at your firm, law school, or civic group, with great speakers
- Develop or present a CLE or panel event on voting rights, democracy reform, civics, good government
- Assist our committees or sub-committees (click here for committee descriptions and contact info)
- Stay informed on voting rights issues/events: Sign up for our weekly Democratic Law Briefs newsletter
The way America conducts its elections is a travesty. NYDLC continues to work with policymakers and administrators to reform and modernize our election systems at every step of the process.
Worse yet, voting rights are under attack in our country. The Republican Party is engaging in deliberate tactics to disenfranchise voters and suppress the will of the electorate. Often, these tactics deter and victimize some of our most vulnerable and marginalized neighbors.
Now more than ever, it is critical that Democratic attorneys and others who care about our precious and hard fought civil and political rights use their legal and advocacy skills to ensure not only that the right to vote is upheld, but that the opportunity to exercise the fundamental franchise is real.
Numerous legal advocacy and civil rights organizations work to promote voting rights, but none of these explicitly promotes the interests of Democratic Candidates. Given the recent weakening of the Voting Rights Act, the ubiquitous trend of State Legislatures passing Voter ID laws and other restrictive legislation, it is critical for Democrats to focus on strengthening and expanding voting rights.
If you have questions about NYDLC or would like to get involved, please contact [email protected].