ATLANTA (AP) — Saying it won’t let recently enacted voter ID laws suppress turnout, the NAACP on Wednesday launched a nationwide drive to register thousands of mostly minority, student and elderly voters before the Nov. 6 elections.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People says these groups could be the ones most affected by laws requiring them to show identification before they can exercise their right to vote.
NAACP President Ben Jealous said the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization would work harder and smarter to meet the new voting requirements. He framed them as a negative reaction to historic voter turnout in 2008 that led to Barack Obama’s election as the first black U.S. president.
“Were we students of history, we would’ve expected that night, when everybody was celebrating, that we needed to be preparing for what we’re dealing with right now,” he said, referring to election night 2008. “We saw the largest most diverse presidential electorate this country has ever seen.
“Every time that the vote has been expanded, especially for black people in this country, it has been followed by a massive backlash,” Jealous added. “We will ensure that those who intend to steal this election cannot.”
It is unclear whether or how such laws may affect voter turnout in the fall.
For example, in Georgia, — the first state to hold a major election in which voter ID laws were in effect — black turnout jumped from 25 percent in 2004 to 30 percent in 2008, when Obama was elected, despite the new requirements. Overall turnout also was the largest in state history.
Jealous said the NAACP is the only group outside of the two major political parties with a voter database for all 50 states. The organization has operations in 1,200 communities and on 150 college campuses.
The strategy also includes the return of the NAACP’s national voter empowerment hotline, registration mailings to more than 1 million black youth who will turn 18 by Election Day and partnerships with national religious organizations and black fraternities and sororities.
The NAACP also has been training volunteers for nearly a year. Jealous said it is focusing on a dozen states: Virginia, Ohio, New York, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida, Mississippi, Texas, Missouri, California and Georgia.
According to the Pew Research Center, the 2008 election saw record turnout among blacks, Hispanics and Asians, with black women accounting for the highest voter turnout rate among all racial, ethnic and gender groups for the first time. Voter turnout among blacks ages 18 to 29 also was higher than that of young eligible voters of any other racial and ethnic group that year, another first.
Nearly all black voters, or 95 percent, cast ballots for Obama.
Follow Errin Haines on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/emarvelous
More Related Stories
- Slave descendants seek equal rights from Cherokee Nation
- Peace Corps to allow gay couples to volunteer together
- Is abortion about to doom Republicans again?
- Anti-voter-fraud Tea Party group sues the IRS
- The Bachmann-inspired romance novel
- Nate Silver: Why the scandals aren't hurting Obama
- How to oust Michele Bachmann from Congress
- Rand Paul: Congress should apologize to Apple, not the other way around
- Who is Toronto Mayor Rob Ford?
- Colorado judge rules Abercrombie parent company violates Disabilities Act
- When America became a third-world country
- Inhofe and Coburn: Red state hypocrites
- It's Whitewater all over again
- Teen activist to meet with Abercrombie CEO
- Anyone regret slashing National Weather Service budget now?
- Oklahoma senator: Tornado aid "totally different" from Sandy aid
- Aloof, shifty Obama: Nixon times ten thousand!
- Obama: Moore "needs to get everything it needs right away"
- California Tea Party group files first IRS lawsuit
- Still no polling backlash for Obama
- Oklahoma senator wants to offset tornado aid with other cuts
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11