Brenda Wright

(She, Her, Hers)

Brenda wants to help transform our voting systems and electoral practices to reflect the full power of Black, brown, and Indigenous persons to shape the future of our country.

Brenda is working on making voter registration accessible through human service agencies that serve low-income people in the U.S. This work has facilitated voter registration applications from over 3 million low-income persons over the past decade. She is working with the Center for Civic Design to enhance this work by incorporating plain-language practices into voter registration transactions. 

Brenda is an attorney who has worked with U.S. NGOs on voting rights and voter access for over 30 years. She has argued two voting rights cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. She currently serves as Senior Advisor for Legal Strategies at Demos, a NY-based NGO. She loves long walks with her dog, Milo, to get out of the house.

Invitations to Democracy
Explaining voting rights and participation

Presented by Sally Marsh, Michigan Department of State, United States; Whitney Quesenbery, Center for Civic Design, United States; Brenda Wright, Demos, United States

A new policy is only as good as its implementation. This is especially true of policies that aim for broad inclusion will not meet their goals if they are not explained clearly. Through three stories, we will show how lawyers, officials, and advocates can work together to make everything from forms to ballots and invitation to participation.


Our projects include

  • Inviting citizens of Michigan to join the Citizens Independent Redistricting Commission.

  • Offering people a way to register to vote while getting a driver’s license or applying for benefits.

  • Helping voters use voting methods, like vote-by-mail and ranked-choice voting, to participate in elections.


Implementing new policies to invite participation requires:

  • A collaborative process that includes officials, advocates, and community members means broader perspectives are considered as implementation is planned

  • Usability testing in community locations helps bring first-hand experience from community members into the process.

  • Experimenting with innovative formats and explanations of concepts helps put the right information into the right format for the audience.


You might find these resources useful in your work: