08/26/12 — NAACP voter registration drive being held across 53 counties

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NAACP voter registration drive being held across 53 counties

By Dennis Hill
Published in News on August 26, 2012 1:50 AM

DURHAM -- At a community mass meeting in Durham on Friday night, the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP announced simultaneous mass nonpartisan voter registration drives in 53 counties across the state this weekend. Grassroots NAACP activists and organizers will register voters in 88 percent of the counties in North Carolina under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act and every major urban area.

The meeting came four days before the 49th anniversary of the March on Washington.

The North Carolina NAACP was part of the effort to stop attacks by those who have tried to introduce legsilattion that woudl rquire voter photo identification -- something many people believe would roll back voting rights in the North Carolina and elsewhere if enacted.

"This not an end but a beginning," said the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, president of the state Conference of the NAACP. "The issues that drove the voter registration campaigns forty-nine years ago are the same driving us today. Black, Latino and white progressives are again fighting for equal rights, voting rights, jobs and addressing the issue of poverty and unequal education. Today, we find these moral issues must again be at the center of the nation's agenda."

The state organization is leading an intensive voter registration and "Get-Out-The-Vote" campaign, both proven techniques and those that take advantage of new technology.

Local NAACP branch members, partners and supporters are canvassing neighborhoods, shopping centers, churches, cafes, barbershops, nightclubs and other community centers Saturday and today, registering as many people to vote as possible.

The campaign is a continuation of the yearlong efforts of the North Carolina NAACP to organize, register and mobilize voters

The counties where voter registration drives will occur on Saturday and today include: Anson, Beaufort, Bertie, Camden, Caswell, Chowan, Cleveland, Craven, Cumberland, Edgecombe, Forsyth, Gaston, Gates, Greene, Guilford, Halifax, Harnett, Hoke, Lee, Lenoir, Martin, Nash, Northampton, Onslow, Pasqoutank, Perquimans, Person, Pitt, Robeson, Rockingham, Scotland, Vance, Washington, Wayne, Wilson, Durham, Orange, Alamance, Catawba, Davie, Jones, Lincoln, Moore, Pender, Wake, Rowan, Iredell, Mecklenburg, Brunswick, Burke, Hyde, New Hanover, Rutherfordton

"Most of the issues that prompted the moral call for the 1963 march are still pressing," Barber said. "Our voting rights are in jeopardy from right wing attacks. Economic justice, equal access to quality education, health care, and jobs are still very much part of the moral call for civic engagement today. We honor the blood, sweat and tears of our forebears by mobilizing our votes like never before."