All Souls to the Polls

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 23, 2014

All Souls to the Polls:

Resisting Disenfranchisement Is a Life and Death Struggle for All People of Good Will

Statement of Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II As Early Voting Begins, October 23, 2014 

RALEIGH, NC: Fifty-one years after the March on Washington, fifty years after Freedom Summer, and forty-nine years after the passage of the Voting Rights Act, local branches of the NAACP are holding Moral March to the Polls rallies throughout North Carolina to encourage citizens to participate in the right for which their forebears fought and died. These rallies began today, the first day of Early Voting in North Carolina, and they will continue through November 1, the last day of Early Voting in the state.

As NAACP branches across the state encourage North Carolinians to participate in the most fundamental practice of democracy, proponents of voter suppression are attempting to discourage citizens from turning out to vote. These extremists have used multiple tactics recently. The latest is a hollow and distracting "news report" by the Art Pope-funded Carolina Journal, based on a complaint made by an attorney representing the state. Because members of the conventional media have asked about this, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II is releasing the following statement: 

All Souls to the Polls every day of this Early Voting Period and on November 4, as we stand in this shameful time in history, where people are playing politics with our right to vote; a right won by the sacrifice of hundreds of thousands of Black and White soldiers and sailors in the U.S. Army and Navy during the 1860's; a right won again by the sacrifice of Black and White civil rights activists in the 1950's and 1960's in the mole hills of Mississippi and across the south. Today is the first day of early voting and a historic day in our Moral Forward Together Movement.

March to the Polls! Across the state, we march to the polls to kick off the Early Voting period. The disenfranchisers cut Early Voting by a week.  We will March to the Polls every day we can.

Early voting avoids last-minute problems that can arise. There will be time to solve these problems. Don't wait until Tuesday, November 4th to stop and vote after work.

Early Voting begins today! Now is the time to make your voice heard about where you stand on racial equality, equal protection under the law, women's rights, LGBT rights, environmental policy, health policy, and labor rights! 

We need to get some things straight. No one must have a Photo ID or any other kind of Voter ID to vote in this election!  The disenfranchisers played all kinds of tricks with this. Senator Phil Berger put it on his website and in his public statements that you need a Photo ID.  We called him on it.  He quietly changed the disinformation.  Unless you are a first-time voter who registered by mail, you do not need identification. You only need to be a registered voter!

Today, we have people called "True the Vote" and other names, who come to the polls to pick out people they know will be voting against the Agenda of Regression, and try to intimidate us. Our parents and grandparents did not let the intimidators scare them.  And neither will we. If you have your cell phone with you, and someone tries to intimidate you, take a photo, document the incident, and report it to the NAACP office. Call to report the incident to 1-866-OUR-VOTE. We are not afraid.  We are not afraid today.

Any citizen over 18 who wants to participate in this election should go to the polls! All voters, even if they are confused and unsure whether they are registered for this election, should go to the polls to vote!  If they cannot find your name on the poll books, and you believe you are registered, try to find out why.  All voters who believe they are registered are entitled under the federal law called HAVA-the Help America Vote Act of 2002 -to be given a provisional ballot![1] Any voter who believes they are registered to vote should request a provisional ballot!  If you are not given a provisional ballot, make a note of the time and place you were denied, send it to the NAACP and call to report the incident to 1-866-OUR-VOTE.

If someone was never registered-for example, a young person voting for the first time, who may have missed the registration deadline on October 10 that was just changed, they should go to the early voting poll and get registered.  All citizens over 18 should be registered, and the Early Voting polls is a good place to do it.  Even if you have missed the deadline for this election, you can get registered to vote in future elections. The more people of good will registered, showing they support the Moral Movement people's agenda, the more powerful we are as we build our Forward Together Movement.

The NC NAACP supports the right for all eligible voters (citizens over 18) to participate in the electoral process - this year, and in the future. We want all the people of North Carolina to know: This is Our State.  The House on Jones Street is the Peoples House.  This is the People's Time.

All Souls to the Polls this election to register our discontent!

We will not let the planned confusion by disenfranchisers, with their misinformation campaigns, their changing registration deadlines, and precinct and poll watcher intimidation, to scare us into staying home. Like our grandparents and parents, we must march to the polls. With our heads held high toward the rising sun.  Let everyone know you want to vote in 2014. 

Now is the Time. Now is the time to be heard. We need everybody to call, text, email, or tweet 50 people to get out to vote-in honor of the 50th Anniversary of Freedom Summer- and when you go to the polls, take 4 other people with you.  March to the Polls together.  Over the path of the blood of the slaughtered.  This is Our Nation.  This is Our State.  We are here to stay.  Tell Gov. McCrory.  Tell Speaker Tillis.  Tell Senate Leader Phil Berger.  We are just getting started.


[1] Under the federal law called the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA), we have clear guidance on "Provisional Voting and Voting Information Requirements" in 42 U.S.C.A. 15482 (a):

"If an individual declares that such individual is a registered voter in the jurisdictionin which the individual in which the individual desires to vote and that the individual is eligible to vote in an election for Federal office, but the name of the individual does not appear on the official list of eligible voters for the polling place oran election official asserts that the individual is not eligible to vote, such individual shall be permitted to cast a provisional ballot as follows:

(1)  An election official at the polling place shall notify the individual that the individual may cast a provisional ballot in that election."

For full text of the law see: http://www.eac.gov/about_the_eac/help_america_vote_act.aspx


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