Monday, March 10, 2014

Voting Rights Rally Tomorrow in Raleigh


March 10, 2014

For more information: Atty. Jamie Phillips Cole, Public Policy Coordinator, 919.682.4700

Sarah Bufkin, Media Coordinator, 404.285.3413


The North Carolina NAACP and the Forward Together Moral Movement to Co-Host Voting Rights Rally Tomorrow in Raleigh with the Saving OurSelves Coalition

Tomorrow at 4 pm

State Capitol Grounds, South Side

One Edenton St, Raleigh, NC

A version of this release was sent out on March 7.

RALEIGH - The NC NAACP-led Forward Together Moral Movement will rally outside the state capitol building in Raleigh, N.C., on Tuesday, March 11 to draw attention to the massive rollback of voting rights pushed by state lawmakers, including extremists in the North Carolina General Assembly, in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to gut the Voting Rights Act as well as to challenge the bill recently introduced that would reinstate the federal voter protections available under the VRA for some states but not all.

The rally is co-hosted by the Saving OurSelves (S.O.S.) Movement for Justice and Democracy, a coalition of civil rights groups and activists based in Alabama who last weekend coordinated the 49th anniversary commemoration of the Bloody Sunday march in Selma, Ala., where state troopers attacked people marching for voting rights in March 1965. 

Tomorrow's demonstration will highlight the tremendous harm done by the US Supreme Court's reckless decision in Shelby Co v Holder last summer and will push for Congress to restore a full-strength version of the act. Currently, congressional lawmakers have introduced a weaker reinstatement that would not provide automatic preclearance coverage for states who were completely covered by the 1965 act, including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, South Carolina and Virginia. The proposed bill also leaves out states who were partially covered, including California, Florida, Michigan, New York, North Carolina and South Dakota.  

Raleigh is the fourth state capitol to receive the SOS "Caravan for Democracy: From the State Capitols to the Nation's Capitol" tour as the voting-rights activists and civil-rights groups make their way to Washington DC where they will rally outside the US Supreme Court to call for a restoration of the VRA and to kick off a year of voter registration nationwide. The caravan began in Selma on March 10 following the 49th anniversary of Selma and the heroic sacrifices made by civil rights activists on the Edmund Pettus Bridge crossing. Over the three-day tour, local and national leaders will also rally in Montgomery, Ala.; Atlanta, Ga.; Columbia, S.C.; and Richmond, Va.

"When the Supreme Court struck down Section IV of the Voting Rights Act in its Shelby County decision, they opened the door to the kind of massive voter suppression law that was passed right here in North Carolina," said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, President of the NC NAACP. "The extremists in our General Assembly passed the most restrictive voter suppression law we have seen since Jim Crow only two months after the Shelby decision. That was not a coincidence."

North Carolina's voter suppression law inhibits and restrains the right to vote, particularly for African Americans, Latinos and the poor, by:

  • requiring all voters show specific forms of photo ID, excluding student ID's and non-North Carolina driver's licenses;
  • cutting down on popular early voting days;
  • ending same-day registration;
  • limiting early registration and ending it entirely for 16- and 17-year olds;
  • giving vigilante poll watchers more power to challenge votes;
  • barring counties from keeping polls open later to accommodate long lines;
  • refusing to count provisional ballots mistakenly cast in the wrong precinct;
  • and making it easier to request an absentee ballot, which is the most common means of voter fraud and also tends to be used by more Republican voters.

"The Forward Together Moral Movement is on the front lines of today's struggle to defend the unfettered right to vote," Dr. Barber said. "We are determined to litigate and organize against these attempts to take this fundamental right away from the poor, African Americans, Latinos, women, the elderly and students. Forward together, not one step back!"

WHO:               The NC NAACP, the Forward Together Moral Movement, the HKonJ Coalition Partners and the Saving OurSelves Movement for Justice and Democracy

WHAT:             Demonstration against voter suppression in North Carolina and across the nation as a part of the SOS "Caravan for Democracy: From the State Capitols to the Nation's Capitol"

WHEN:             Tuesday, March 11

                           4 - 5:30 pm

WHERE:          South side of the State Capitol (adjacent to Morgan St.)

                          1 East Edenton St,

                          Raleigh, NC 27601



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