-> Democratic Liberal Umbrella Politics

-> Recent Posts

-> DLU Live Stream

Spotlight Voters: Check Your Voting Status – Don’t Take it For Granted

Spotlight Voters: Check Your Voting Status – Don’t Take it For Granted > Political Opinion > Political Views > DLU Articles > Democratic Liberal Umbrella

[important]DNC on the Black Vote: Don’t Take it For Granted[/important]

[important]Black Pastors Move To Counter New Voter ID Laws[/important]

>by Adelle M. Banks| Religion News Service | Posted: 09/07/2012 2:32 pm |
(RNS) African-American clergy are joining forces with civil rights groups to push for increased voter registration ahead of the November election, spurred on by new voter laws they say restrict opportunities for minorities to enter the voting booth.

“We must vote because we must counteract the corrupt and diabolical strategies of those who are trying to take away our vote by passing laws to suppress and diminish our

Jesse Jackson, Civil Rights Activists

WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 13: Laywers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Executive Director Barbara Arnwine (2nd R) speaks during a news conference to voice opposition to state photo identification voter laws with the Rev. Jesse Jackson (C) and members of Congress at the U.S. Capitol July 13, 2011 in Washington, DC. In what the the committee calls ‘vote suppression legislation,’ eight states require photo identification for people to vote and 22 others are considering similar legislation. (Photo b

voting rights,” said the Rev. Julius Scruggs, president of the National Baptist Convention, USA, at a news conference Wednesday (Sept. 5) during his denomination’s Annual Session in Atlanta.

Scruggs, leaders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and top officials of four other black Baptist groups gathered to rally against the new laws and continue longtime efforts to get blacks registered to vote.

More than two dozen new voter laws have passed in 19 states since 2011, according to the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law. Some have been overturned but others remain on the books, such as a voter ID law in New Hampshire and proof of citizenship requirements in Alabama, Kansas and Tennessee. Proponents say they prevent fraud, while opponents say they are reducing access to the polling booth.

The voting laws — through which some states have reduced early voting or required government-issued identification to enter the polls — have changed some of the clergy’s voter education initiatives.

On Thursday, the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network scheduled a luncheon during the Democratic National Convention to declare a “state of emergency over voter suppression” and call for black pastors to spend the next 30 days helping people get IDs so turnout by black and Latino voters “is not compromised.”

“We are targeting congregations across the country to let them know where the laws have been changed so they are not surprised,” said the Rev. W. Franklyn Richardson, chairman of NAN and of the Conference of National Black Churches.

His church network was addressed by Attorney General Eric Holder at a May meeting in Washington that focused on the new laws.

The Rev. Jamal-Harrison Bryant, pastor of Empowerment Temple in Baltimore, started the Empowerment Movement, a national network of African-American clergy that aimed to register 1 million voters starting Easter Sunday. Bryant said the initiative — initially to have each black church register 20 people that day — registered 100,000 on Easter and now has a total of 420,000 registered. But Bryant, who attended the Atlanta rally, had not given up on the million-voter milestone.

“I’m here at a Baptist convention as an AME,” the African Methodist Episcopal pastor said. “I’m trying to find 1 million black people. They can be COGIC (Church of God in Christ), Pentecostal, United Methodist. It doesn’t matter.”

The NAACP estimates that 6 million African-Americans are eligible to vote but are not registered. In a new initiative, 34 churches have worked with the civil rights group to compare their membership rolls with local voter registration lists.

With memories of their forebears’ living with poll taxes and marching for the Voting Rights Act, many clergy are fighting the laws on two fronts: with get-out-the-vote initiatives and by supporting petitions in courts to overturn the laws.

From the Morehouse College chapel helping register 300 students at a block party to churches preparing caravans to the polls, black religious leaders are hoping to get people to vote regardless of the new laws.

“There is a suppression law that’s under attack, that’s in the federal courts, but we aren’t waiting on that final decision,” said the Rev. Ralph Canty, interim general secretary of the Progressive National Baptist Convention and a pastor in South Carolina.

“Many of us are doing all that we can to help people get ID. It’s difficult for older people. It’s requiring a whole lot of extra effort.”

In states that continue to have early voting that includes a Sunday, plans are underway to help churchgoers get there — right after service.

Voter Registration

Register to vote in your state today www.gottaregister.com
Your vote starts with your registration. Registering to vote is easy, and you ca
n do it right now. Just fill out a voter registration form, print it out, and drop it in the mail.

The Rev. Greg Moss, president of the Lott Cary Foreign Mission Convention and a Charlotte, N.C., pastor, will lead members of his congregation to the polls. “I ride a motorcycle and lead a caravan of people,” he said.

A federal court recently ruled that Texas’ voter ID law would have a “retrogressive” effect on the poor and racial minorities. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said he would appeal the decision to the Supreme Court because the law provides “ballot integrity safeguards” approved in other states.

The Rev. Frederick D. Haynes III, a NAACP religious affairs committee member and Texas pastor, said clergy in his state are collecting signatures to oppose an appeal.

“We want him to know there’s a voice evidently he’s not listening to,” said Haynes.

Eric McDaniel, associate professor of government at the University of Texas at Austin, said people are more likely to vote if they have a reason, whether it’s excitement about voting for Barack Obama as the first black president in 2008, or fear that voting rights are being restricted.

“If you can say, ‘You may not like Obama but some people are trying to take away your vote,’ that changes things significantly,” said McDaniel, author of a book on black churches and political mobilization. “That provides them with more ammunition to get them out to the polls.”

Watch the videos – Also on HuffPost:

DLU LogoSupport President Obama and the Democratic Party! Make your contributions – Today!

We need people to come together and support the President in this election of 2012, the push to turn Congress and this Country – Blue; strengthening our democracy. Your contributions are Fight Back vital to our success — take this opportunity and donate today. In addition, the GOP is spending 1 billion dollars to remove Obama from the office of: POTUS ! This group consisting of K och’s, K arl Rove and in the shadows the K han because Obama has caused “Life Changing Events “- for them! Let’s make these events last four more years for the three K’s!

Thank you! Democratic Liberal Umbrella – Organization of Mainstream Grassroots Americans! Join the DLU !

If you tweet! Let me repeat! #RT Join me, Join the # DLU – Re-elect the President and Turn Congress – Blue! [Say it!]

Let’s Be Liberals (all inclusive) and Vote the Right-wing – Out!
Gbismarc! Democratic Liberal Umbrella will give you the bitter and the sweet! Join the cause Your Support Helps! …Enjoy! I’m ready for a game of Chess – Gbismarc!

DLU Related Posts:

Leave a Reply


Democratic Liberal Umbrella © 2013

Social Widgets powered by AB-WebLog.com.

View Robert Gallimore's profile on LinkedIn

WP Like Button Plugin by Free WordPress Templates