Photo of Casey Smith

Casey Smith

  • Hosted by American Civil Liberties Union Voting Rights Project
  • Sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies, Proskauer Rose LLP
  • Service location New York, New York
  • Law school Yale Law School
  • Issue area Criminal Justice Reform, Voting Rights/Electoral Participation
  • Fellowship class year 2022
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Casey (she/her/hers) will mount the first nationwide affirmative effort to mitigate the criminal and immigration consequences of attempting to cast a ballot.

After recent elections, many states, including North Carolina, Georgia, and Texas, have prosecuted dozens of people for allegedly casting ballots while ineligible to do so. As a result, many people, especially people of color, face extreme consequences like incarceration and deportation for casting ballots while not knowing they were disenfranchised. For example, current ACLU clients Ms. Crystal Mason and Mr. Hervis Rogers face multi-year prison sentences for allegedly trying to vote when Texas considered them ineligible under its felon disenfranchisement laws. This growing wave of unjust voter prosecution creates fear and suppresses voter turnout among minority communities.

Fellowship Plans

Casey will contribute to the defense of individuals wrongfully prosecuted for voting. She will build capacity among defense and immigration lawyers to represent people charged with voting unlawfully. Casey will also file impact litigation to challenge statutes that impose harsh penalties upon people who try to vote not realizing they are ineligible to do so.

Prosecuting people of color for voting is a tool of racist voter suppression dating back to Jim Crow, and it has resurged recently, as politicians seek to support unfounded allegations of widespread voter fraud. Having worked with clients affected by this unjust practice, I am driven to ensure that no one is prosecuted, incarcerated, or deported for trying to participate in politics.

Casey Smith /
2022 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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