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The Lay of the Land: NC Voter Suppression

Written by Peter Grear on 17 April 2014.

JOHN TRAVIS HOLT, TRAVIS HOLT Many of our readers are well aware of our coverage of the serious threat of voter suppression to our communities.  I’ve written weekly columns on this subject since November 2013.  Since August I've tried to educate our readers and myself and to remain abreast of developments around our state and the nation.  The May Primaries will be the first statewide election held since the enactment of the Voter Suppression Act, also known as the Voter Information Verification Act. One of the more important things that needs volunteers and your immediate attention, is the “Vote Defender Election Protection Training Spring 2014.”  

This volunteer training is co-sponsored by Ignite NC’s Voter Defender Project and Democracy NC.  According to information they provided, the Vote Defenders, through trained volunteers, will provide voters with information about changing voting laws, document any cases of intimidation or suppression, and conduct an exit survey.  Volunteers will also aid citizens that encounter trouble.  This vital work will make our electorate more educated and will help ensure that none are denied their fundamental right to the ballot box.  (For more information and to volunteer see http://greaterdiversity.com/vote-defender-training).

This week I’ll give readers a general update of how our community and coalition partners are responding to the voter suppression threat to date.  On Friday, April 25, 2014, I will serve as a panelist on a panel addressing voter suppression in North Carolina at the 9th Annual NC Black Summit.  I was asked to design the panel by The Alliance of North Carolina Black Elected Officials. (for additional details http://ncbeoalliance.org/).  It is my considered opinion that as leaders in our communities, Black Elected Officials have to provide a consensus roadmap for us to support and follow.

Our panel’s agenda and participants have been confirmed.  We’ll discuss the two questions that I believe should be basic in our presentation.  The first question is: What educational, organizational or mobilization deficiencies do you see as the primary challenges we face as a community either from an individual or organizational point of view?  The second question is: What do you recommend to address the deficiency noted in question number one?  The responses to these questions will provide a level of community input that will enable our elected officials and other community leaders to help educate, organize and mobilize our communities for success. 

These questions will be presented to our panelist, the Honorable Renee Price, Commissioner of the Orange County Board of County Commissioners; Bob Hall, Executive Director of Democracy North Carolina; Attorney Jeremy Collins of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice; Jaymes Powell, Jr., the Vice-President for Communications for the African American Caucus of the North Carolina Democratic Party; Attorney Jamie Phillips for North Carolina NAACP and myself with Greater Diversity News and  the Campaign to Defeat Voter Suppression.  Patricia Ferguson of the Campaign to Defeat Voter Suppression and the African American Caucus of the NC Democratic Party will preside and lead the discussion of our Resolution to Defeat Voter Suppression.    

Our objective is to pose the two critical questions that will allow all of us to assess the strengths and weaknesses of our current response to voter suppression and to do it in such a way that the community can have input in this discussion, ask questions and give us ideas that will help strengthen our ability to succeed. Many individuals and organizations are actively involved in addressing voter suppression, but I don’t believe that we are presently organized or funded well enough to achieve our ultimate goals.  

Please support the various efforts to defeat voter suppression by supporting organizations and individuals that are presently leading these campaigns.     

GDN covers news that is vital to unrepresented and underserved communities.  We need your financial support to help us remain viable. 

Peter Grear writes for Greater Diversity News with a primary focus on voter suppression.  To join the campaign to defeat voter suppression please “Like” and follow us at www.facebook.com/votersuppression, “Share” our articles, and your ideas and comments on Facebook or at our website www.GreaterDiversity.com.  Also, to promote the campaign to defeat voter suppression, please ask all of your Facebook “Friends” to follow the above-referenced recommendations. Additionally, please follow us on Twitter at (@yourrighttovote) and (#defeatvotersuppression). 

GDN covers news that is vital to unrepresented and underserved communities we need your financial support to help us remain viable.

 

Peter Grear, Esq. writes for Greater Diversity News with a primary focus on voter suppression.  To join the campaign to defeat voter suppression please “Like” and follow us at www.facebook.com/votersuppression, “Share” our articles, and your ideas and comments on Facebook or at our website www.GreaterDiversity.com.  Also, to promote the campaign to defeat voter suppression, please ask all of your Facebook “Friends” to follow the above-referenced recommendations. Additionally, please follow us on Twitter at @yourrighttovote: (https://twitter.com/yourrighttovote)

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