Voting Rights During a Pandemic

  • 12 Oct 2020
  • 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
  • Zoom link to be provided to registered guests.

Registration is closed

The recording from the panel can be viewed here:  

Further information on the event follows:  

The onset of COVID-19 has catalyzed an incalculable disruption in everyday life. With state and federal elections a few weeks away-most notably the Presidential race-this disruption has transformed the way citizens may vote, with a torrent of recent legislation and lawsuits affecting franchise rights. From laws concerning absentee and mail-in balloting and permitting extension of voting deadlines to litigation challenging electoral access, the landscape for election rights has become an ever-evolving battleground with widespread repercussions. Even beyond the effects from coronavirus, other issues before legislative and judicial bodies have arisen recently, such as gerrymandering and electoral barriers hinged on voter identification and other qualifications.

With so much at stake, the dilemma seems to pit the health and well-being of Americans who are voting or monitoring the polls against the assurance that votes are properly accounted for. Our panel will speak about whether this dilemma presents a zero-sum game, the impact of the pandemic on the upcoming elections, their personal experiences in franchise work, and the general legal landscape of voter rights and election law:

  • Uzoma Nkwonta, Partner in Perkins Coie's Washington, D.C. office. Uzoma focuses on election law and voting rights matters, with significant experience litigating cases in federal and state courts around the country on behalf of organizations, campaigns, candidates and voters in a wide range of election law-related disputes, including redistricting, Voting Rights Act violations, constitutional challenges to electoral systems and restrictive voting measures, and cases implicating First Amendment speech and associational rights.

  • Avi Panth, Deputy Voter Protection Director of the Democratic Party of Virginia. As part of his directorial duties, Avi focuses on voter rights in Virginia by seeking to expand access and defend against incursions to the franchise at the state, local, and municipal level through strategic vehicles, such as legislation, executive action, and public campaigns, to name a few.

  • Sophia Lin Lakin, Deputy Director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project. Sophia has active cases protecting voting rights and combatting voter suppression across the country.  She is currently litigating a number of cases to ensure that all voters are able to cast ballots safely during the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis.  Sophia is a frequent commentator on voting rights issues, presenting at conferences and conducting voting rights trainings nationwide. She speaks regularly to both national and local media on a wide range of topics that touch on voting rights.

Please contact Lloyd Liu or James Billings-Kang at with any questions.

APABA-DC is an affiliate of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association


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