Elder Law Clinic awarded 2018 nonprofit voter engagement grant

Photo of Professor Kate Mewhinney

Professor Kate Mewhinney

The Elder Law Clinic has been awarded a 2018 voter engagement grant as part of North Carolina’s Nonprofit Voter Engagement Program. The program is hosted by a statewide voting rights organization, Democracy North Carolina, and its national partner, Nonprofit VOTE.

In addition to a $1,000 Nonprofit Voter Engagement grant, the Elder Law Clinic will receive a civic engagement package that includes training for the clinic’s law students to conduct non-partisan voter engagement activities, access to the latest voter educational materials and resources and ongoing support from Democracy North Carolina’s staff and partners.

The clinic’s managing attorney, Professor Kate Mewhinney, stated, “With this grant, our law students will learn more about that most fundamental legal right — the right to vote. They will also come to understand the barriers that low-income people face which hinder full participation in our voting process. In a society that is aging like ours is, it is important that we choose legislators who are responsive to the needs of older adults.”

As a community service program of the Wake Forest University School of Law that provides free legal services to people age 60 and older, the Elder Law Clinic will use its grant to provide voter registration opportunities to older adults, as will as information about absentee voting and voting opportunities for disabled North Carolinians.

“Nonprofits like the Elder Law Clinic at Wake Forest University School of Law are trusted messengers with deep roots in North Carolina’s most marginalized voting communities. This makes them uniquely positioned to play an important role in increasing voter access,” said Democracy North Carolina’s Cheryl Ellis, who administers the organization’s Nonprofit Voter Engagement Program. “We are excited that the Elder Law Clinic will be on the front lines of engaging the communities it serves in voting during this year’s important justice elections.”

The Elder Law Clinic has been providing free legal assistance to older adults since 1991. Clients must be from Forsyth County or neighboring counties, and age 60 or older. There are income guidelines to be eligible. The clinic students work under the supervision of an attorney. To learn more or to apply for the free services of the Elder Law Clinic, call 1-336-758-5061.

Democracy North Carolina is a statewide nonpartisan organization that uses research, organizing, and advocacy to increase civic participation, reduce the influence of big money in politics, and remove systemic barriers to voting and serving in elected office.

Nonprofit VOTE partners with America’s nonprofits to help the people they serve participate and vote. The organization is the largest source of nonpartisan resources to help nonprofits integrate voter engagement into their ongoing activities and services.