After historic voter turnout during the 2020 election, many states retaliated: This year alone, 19 states have enacted 33 laws that make it harder to vote, including those limiting early and mail-in voting, or establishing more stringent ID requirements. Many of these new restrictions are in states where it was already more difficult to vote, and the measures hit communities of color hardest. With the 2022 midterm elections looming, there is so much at stake.

What can we each do to protect voting rights in the year ahead? At The Meteor’s recent briefing One Year Till the Midterms: A Voting Rights Briefing, advocates and legal experts gave us an overview of the current crisis and shared how we can all take action. We heard from:

The conversation was moderated by filmmaker Dawn Porter, founding member of The Meteor and director of “John Lewis: Good Trouble.” Check out some of the highlights below and sign up for our newsletter to stay in the loop about upcoming events.


At our recent briefing voting rights experts shared insights and action steps we can all take in the year ahead.

On the current state of voting:
“If you were going to design a system that benefited older white men, it would literally be the election system we have in this country…[And] there is no sugarcoating it; it will be harder to vote in 2022 than it was in 2020.”—Marc Elias, founder of Democracy Docket

On the movement away from democracy:
“We say “Oh, it could never happen here.’ It is happening here.’”—Melanie Campbell, president and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation

On what you can do to help:
“Lean into your superpower…Do you know how to make phone calls? Do you have large mailing lists? Can you speak to your neighbor? Do you go to church? What are the networks that you have? Because right now, the combat is literally peer to peer, friend to friend.” —Maria Teresa Kumar, founding CEO of Voto Latino

On whether voting rights can gain bipartisan support:
“[John Lewis’s voting rights bills] always had a Republican co-sponsor. This hyper-partisanship is relatively recent, which makes me think: Maybe there is a path forward.”—Dawn Porter, founding member of The Meteor and director of “John Lewis: Good Trouble”


Melanie L. Campbell

Melanie L. Campbell is president and CEO of The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, and convener of The Black Women’s Roundtable. A leader in the civil rights, women’s rights, and social justice movements, Campbell is regularly featured in Essence, The Washington Post, USA Today, and more. Last year she was awarded the “Sustainer of the Flame Freedom Flame Award” by The Bridge Crossing Jubilee during the 55th Anniversary of Selma to Montgomery.

Marc Elias

Marc Elias is a nationally recognized authority in voting rights, redistricting, campaign finance, law, and litigation. He is the founder of Democracy Docket, the leading progressive media platform dedicated to voting rights and democracy, and Elias Law Group, a mission-driven firm committed to helping Democrats win, citizens vote, and progressives make change.

María Teresa Kumar

María Teresa Kumar is the founding CEO of Voto Latino, the country’s largest Latinx voter registration and mobilization organization, and Voto Latino Foundation as well as an Emmy-nominated on-air analyst for MSNBC. A life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, and a board member of Emily’s List, Kumar has dedicated her career to engaging the public to build democracy and protect human rights.

Dawn Porter

Dawn Porter is an award-winning filmmaker whose work has appeared on HBO, PBS, Netflix, and more. A founding member of The Meteor, her 2020 documentary “John Lewis: Good Trouble,” explores the late Congressman’s pivotal role in the civil rights movement and his activism on issues including voting rights and immigration. She is currently working on a documentary series about the United States Supreme Court with Showtime Networks.