Medical Whistleblower Advocacy Network

Human Rights Defenders

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”

 Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Article 1



"Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country."
--- Franklin D. Roosevelt

The Human Right to Vote

Political participation is the basis of democracy and a vital part of the enjoyment of all human rights. The right of all people to vote in elections, without any discrimination, is one of the most fundamental of all human rights and civil liberties.  But if you have a disability, are Indigenous, homeless or a prisoner serving a sentence of more than 3 years, your right to vote in a federal election may be restricted as a legal or practical matter.  In addition those who are young, live in rural areas, are from a minority group may also have obstacles to their access to the right to vote.

The right to vote, without discrimination, is set out in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (article 25) and the International Covenant on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (article 5(c)). The right to vote is also set out in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (article 21).

Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA)

On October 29, 2002, the President of the United States signed into law the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA), to improve the administration of elections. HAVA provides financial assistance to states and creates new minimum standards for states to follow in several key areas. Among other things, these new standards concern voting systems, voting accessibility, statewide computerized voter registration lists, provisional voting, information provided to voters, and voter registration by mail.


HAVA seeks to improve voting access to individuals with disabilities as follows:

_ Establishes a Voting Protection agency and authorizes funding

_ Makes accessibility grants available to states and local units of government to improve

physical and non-visual access to polling places

_ Creates minimum standards for accessibility of voting systems that states must follow

_ Requires states to include individuals with disabilities in developing the State Plan for

compliance with HAVA’s requirements

_ Provides funds for research on accessible voting technology

Other important non-disability provisions of HAVA include:

_ Establishes the Elections Assistance Commission, a new federal agency to serve as a

clearinghouse for election administration information

_ Provides funding to states to improve election administration and to replace punch card and

lever style voting systems

_ Create minimum standards for states to follow in several key areas of election administration

_ Establishes a state administrative procedure for voting complaints



Protection and Advocacy for Voting Access (PAVA)


_ Voter Registration - voter registration assistance and education.


_ Access to Polling Places - State and County Election Officials must assure that all

polling places are accessible.


_ Develop and Disseminate Information related to voting and HAVA - provide individuals with the opportunity to register to vote, know their legal voting rights, and access polling places.




To file a complaint regarding a violation of HAVA, contact:


The United States Department of Justice

Disability Rights Section

Civil Rights Division

950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20530

(800) 514-0301 (Voice)

(800) 514-0383 (TTY)

Voter's Rights News

Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law has a new study that reports that as many as five million voters will be adversely affected in the 2012 election by new restrictive state voting laws.


The Advancement Project believes that the push to require photo identification procedures prior to voting will disenfranchise millions of voters in the 2012 elections and beyond. In a reactionary trend that is part of the largest legislative effort to scale back voting rights in a century, nearly two-thirds of the states are considering repressive photo identification requirements for voting. The new more restrictive procedures for ballot access disproportionately impact voters of color.

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
― Leo Buscaglia

Medical Whistleblower Advocacy Network


P.O. 42700 

Washington, DC 20015

MedicalWhistleblowers (at)


"Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself."  Confucius

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

Theodore Roosevelt- Excerpt from the speech "Citizenship In A Republic", delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910