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Monday, June 13, 2011

Civil Rights Activists Address Voter Oppression

With the 2012 election less than a year away, voter suppression efforts are already in high gear across the nation.
That’s a direct quote from the web site of Lawyers Committee For Civil Rights, just one of several civil rights organizations bringing awareness to the current unethical voter registration practices taking place.
There is a persistent and well-coordinated effort in state legislatures to deter minority, low-income, elderly, disabled and student voters from access to the ballot. In short, the right to vote which is fundamental to our democracy is under attack, the website continues.
Several members of the civil rights community joined Lawyers Committee today for a press conference at the National Press Club to bring awareness to improper voter registration tactics being implemented across the country.

Lawyers Committee for Civil and Human Rights join Jesse Jackson, Sr and other civil rights groups at the National Press Club to address the issue of voter registration and voter assault.  Photo/CD Brown.
“There is a concerted effort to disenfranchise voters who could make a difference in the upcoming election”, said Wade Henderson, President and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.
The upcoming election Henderson is referring to, of course, is the 2012 presidential election.  One where House Republican and Tea Party members  have pledged allegiance to make President Barack Obama a one-term U.S. president.

These efforts to limit access to the ballot take several forms, including voter identification and proof of citizenship laws, voter intimidation and suppression and "election integrity" squads who challenge voters at the polls, writes Lawyers Committee president Barbara Arnwine .  In addition to state legislative attacks, there are also attacks in the courts to challenges the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. They, not only threaten to further prevent certain eligible Americans from voting, but distract from the proactive reforms needed to fix inefficient, unequal and outdated election administration practices
Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. calls the voter registration assault “an attack on the entire Civil Rights gains infrastructure.”

“Not only is the right to vote under attack, but EEOC and contract compliance are under attack, affirmative action [is] under attack”, said Jackson. “All of the infrastructure since ‘65 is under attack either by not being enforced, or not being funded.  And therefore we stand to lose 50 years of work by a solid ideological base of state’s rights.  We’re on a dangerous edge of a state’s rights takeover 150 years later”.

"Voters in North Carolina were not able to vote on Sunday, a day many register after church", said Jackson.

The voter assault issue is just one topic that will be addressed in Jackson's upcoming Rainbow/Push annual conference coming up in Chicago June 18-22.
The civil rights organizations are calling on the Department Of Justice for democracy. “The DOJ has a responsibility to examine these issues and connect the dots”, explained Henderson.
“Stop this assault!”, said Arnwine at today’s press conference.  “We’re calling upon state legislators to ban these assaults.   We call upon state legislators to rescind these laws.  We call upon the Department of Justice to enforce the law, and we call upon American citizens to speak out!”.



Adds Jackson, “If you think it’s worth fighting for democracy in Afghanistan and Iraq, try fighting for democracy at home”.

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If you suspect voter fraud in district call 1-866-OUR-VOTE.


Visit these web sites for more info: pushexcel.org / electionprotection.org/ rainbowpush.org / http://www.lawyerscommittee.org / rockthevote.com.
See more video here.

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