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The Selma Initiative: NAACP Mobilizes for Voter Protection

“The kinds of threats we have heard in recent months harken back to the first half of the 20thcentury,” saidNAACPPresident and CEO Cornell W. Brooks.


By Sheryl Estrada

In order to protect Americans from voter suppression, theNAACP has launched a nationwide endeavor called The Selma Initiative.

In the final days before the election, The Selma Initiative provides crucial voter information and servesas a resource for reporting voter obstruction.

“The kinds of threats we have heard in recent months ID checks, voter intimidation, misinformation campaigns harken back to the first half of the 20thcentury,” said NAACP President and CEO Cornell W. Brooks in a statement. “And although the current iteration of the Voting Rights Act is not nearly as powerful as it was, make no mistake: these practices are illegal, and they are wrong.”

The NAACP said it has mobilized two million digital activists, nearly half a million card-carrying members and 2,200 local units to join its effort.

“Through door-to-door canvassing, more than 40 in-person phone banks and countless more automated voter outreach drives, we have reached more than 6,022 African American precincts (those with an African American population at least 65 percent),” the organization said.

Thenational mobilization campaign targets 17 critically vulnerable states and supports all 50. In states with a history of voter suppression like Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Texas, NAACP state conferences sent letters to their election officials informing them of voting machine malfunctions.

Additional efforts of theorganization:

The NAACP filed a lawsuit against North Carolina due to discriminatory practices in voter purging.

-Members of theNAACPlegal team have trainedorganizers on the ground, sharing resources available from the national office and holding webinars with allNAACPregions on how to respond to potential voter misinformation and intimidation tactics.

-As part of its work with the National Election Protection Coalition, organizers have recruited and trained lawyers, law students and other legal professionals to work in call centers on Election Day.

-At the Election Day Command Center at theNAACP’s National Headquarters, volunteers will staff 10 election protection stations and more than 20 phone banks throughout polling hours.

NAACPexperts have set up the Vote Monitor Hotlineso voters can directly report efforts thatprevent themfrom casting their ballots.

Also, to report a voter obstruction incident on or before Tuesday, you can email votemonitor@naacpnet.orgor call 1-866-OUR-VOTE.

Click here to view the NAACP and Centric, a BET Network geared toward African American women, star-studded public service announcement (PSA) urging African American women to get out to vote. Stars include: Bre-Z, Logan Browning, Keisha Epps, Meagan Good, Shalita Grant, Annie Ilonzeh, Tina Knowles Lawson, Robi Reed and Keesha Sharp.

Read more @ DiversityInc.com

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