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Exercising and Protecting the Right to Vote

Exercising and Protecting the Right to Vote

Growing up in the ’60s in rural North Carolina, where the Ku Klux Klan openly held meetings at the local gas station on Saturday nights and the doctor’s office had separate “white” and “colored only” waiting rooms, Randy Jones witnessed the power of voting at an early age. “As a Black child watching the nightly news reports on television, I saw Black people being physically beaten and assaulted as they attempted to vote or register to vote,” said Randy, a litigator in Mintz’s San Diego office. “Their courageous insistence on exercising their right to vote left a strong impression. From the very first moment that I was able to vote as an 18-year-old teenager, I did so and promised myself I would cast my ballot in every future state, local, or federal election,” he said.

Mintz Managing Member Bob Bodian shares an equally unshakable commitment to voting. On Juneteenth 2020, moved by the murder of George Floyd and the deaths of many other Black men and women across the nation, he recommitted the firm to advancing social justice and introduced initiatives including Mintz Votes, which encourages Mintz employees to vote and engage in volunteer work to help ensure safe, accessible, and fair elections.

"It is of utmost importance that we vote, and help others do so,” Bob said, inviting the community and other law firms across the country to join in getting out the vote and driving change. “Sometimes progress is slower than it could or should be. But together, by exercising our voting right and privilege, we can move forward,” he said.

To help Mintz Votes succeed, Mintz gave every employee the day off on Election Day 2020 — a practice that will be repeated on every presidential Election Day — and coordinated opportunities to volunteer for nonpartisan, election-related pro bono activities. To further encourage voter turnout among our attorneys and staff, Mintz shared internal communications, including state-specific voter registration requirements and other election information.

In a series of internal emails, Mintz community members also shared memories of their early voting experiences and thoughts on why they vote. The personal reflections in these “Inspired to Vote” emails helped build a sense of community at the firm during a divisive and difficult time — bringing Mintz contributors and readers across geographic locations, practice areas, and political parties together in spirit as we expressed a shared commitment to ensuring a strong democracy. Some of the most avid voters sharing reflections were community members who immigrated to the United States from countries where democratic institutions were weak or entirely lacking. The family of Grace Rosales, a staff member in LA, left the Philippines in the 1970s to escape martial law. “As naturalized US citizens we had to earn our right to vote,” Grace said. “To exercise this civic right is a beautiful thing.”

More than 80 Mintz attorneys and staff volunteered through firm-approved nonpartisan opportunities, and many others volunteered independently on partisan efforts. Mintz clients also participated in Mintz-organized volunteer activities. Several in-house counsel joined Mintz attorneys to support Lawyers for Civil Rights’ Massachusetts Election Protection Project, an initiative undertaken with the help of a $100,000 donation from Mintz. Volunteers staffed the organization’s voter helpline, monitored media platforms, and observed polling locations for outdoor violations. Mintz’s drive to protect and get out the vote served as a reminder that in a democracy, it is within our power to effectuate the change we want to see. “Through Mintz Votes, we’ve been able to engage and be part of the solution,” Bob said.

Transcending 2021

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