Hot Topic: Nancy Abudu – Guest Speaker

Nancy AbuduNancy Abudu, Director of Legal Operations, ACLU of Florida presented The Impact Federal Courts Decisions Have on our Daily Lives to an appreciative audience on Wednesday, September 20.

Dr. Abudu, prior to becoming Legal Director of ACLU of Florida, served as senior staff counsel with the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project. She provided a detailed overview of voting rights challenges in states across the country, and stressed that the League continues to play a critical role in voting rights issues in front of the courts.  She spoke at length about Voting Rights challenges in Florida, which has plenty of problems of its own.

The Voting Rights Act (VRA) and particularly Section V (preclearance) of the VRA underlay voting rights regulation nationwide; since Section V was overruled in 2014 many draconian regulations have passed.  Nancy discussed gerrymandering and redistricting and voter roll purges, and gave special attention to how two affect our Florida citizens:

  • ACLU has been very active in the campaign to give former felons a 2nd Chance and restore their voting rights.  10% of Floridians of voting age cannot vote due to prior felony convictions.  Nancy discussed  legislation brought by ACLU and others to challenge our broken Executive Clemency system as unfair.
  • The Trump administration’s Election Integrity Commission could result in voter roll purges across our state.  A coalition of Florida non-profits sued to block turnover of voting records to the Commission but were overruled by Secretary of State Detzner. The suit is still in litigation.

 

A lively question and answer session followed.

Video of this Hot Topic is now available on the League website.