According to Myrna Pérez, as many as four million Americans who live, work and pay taxes in their communities have been denied the right to vote because of a past criminal conviction. Crossroad Bible Institute was pleased to host Pérez, a nationally recognized voting rights advocate, as part of CBI’s continuing education seminar series. Pérez is a deputy director of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law—and a CBI Instructor.
Pérez highlighted the Brennan Center’s recent work to restore voting rights to returning citizens for federal elections. Voting regulations vary by state, and the Brennan Center seeks not only to extend voting rights but also to educate election officials about the correct enforcement of voting laws.
The Brennan Center holds that re-enfranchising returning citizens is good for America. Voting is a pro-social behavior that makes people stakeholders in their community and encourages them to invest in civic and communal life.
Terry Sallis is one such voter, and he described his voting experience in the Brennan Center’s “My First Vote,” a publication that documents the experiences of Americans whose voting rights have been restored. “I hope everyone understands the importance of having your citizenship and voting rights restored,” Terry wrote. “It instills a sense of hope and belief that if you do the right thing, society is forgiving and there will be opportunities to succeed.”
Pérez’s seminar was enthusiastically received and was followed by a time of questions and answers. She also expressed her appreciation for CBI’s work with people in prison and for the opportunity to serve as an Instructor. Watch for special web and cable TV programs featuring Pérez in November.
To learn more about the Brennan Center’s Communities of Faith Advisory Council, of which CBI president Dr. David Schuringa is a member, click here.