More than 50 years after the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most extensive pieces of civil rights legislation, people of color across the United States still are engaged in a battle to protect their right to vote. Voting Matters follows one dynamic woman working tirelessly on the ground and in the courts to ensure that they are not denied this right.
When a key section of the Voting Rights Act was struck down in 2013, several states with a history of racial discrimination immediately attempted to pass laws that further restricted voter rights. This came in the form of limiting the window for voter registration, purging voters with inactive histories and requiring more restrictive forms of ID. There are currently 23 states with such voter restrictions. This short film follows civil rights attorney Donita Judge as she helps several voters in Ohio cast ballots even though they initially were turned away. The documentary shows how many hoops must be jumped through simply to vote and highlights how cries of voter fraud are exaggerated.
FILMMAKER'S BIO: Dawn Porter is an award-winning filmmaker whose 2013 documentary, "Gideon's Army," won a Sundance Film Festival editing award, was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award and an Emmy, and later was broadcast on HBO. Dawn's previous films include "Rise: The Promise of My Brother's Keeper," a documentary chronicling President Barack Obama's program to help young men and boys of color succeed, and "Trapped," which explores the impact of laws regulating abortion clinics in the South. "Trapped" premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Special Jury Award for Social Impact Filmmaking. Her most recent project "Bobby Kennedy for President" premiered on Netflix earlier this year.
FILMMAKER'S STATEMENT: "As a lawyer and filmmaker, I am particularly interested in stories that illustrate how the legal system affects the daily lives of everyday people. I constantly work to present people with stories and information that will help them be more civically engaged and gain new perspective."