This week the Campaign to Defeat Voter Suppression will reach an audience critical to its success. The 2014 Black Summit of the Alliance of North Carolina Black Elected Officials will host a panel presentation by leaders representing organizations that are a part of an evolving dynamic network to defend citizens’ right to vote. The audience will include social and political activist from around the state. To help create a more understandable context of our panel discussions, I’m going to refer to earlier information and references that I used to help explain voter suppression and to help readers know it when they see it. I will also highlight new evolving suppression strategies that are being enacted in other states because some of them will surely be coming to the North Carolina General Assembly.
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Nearly 100 people in the last five years have been murdered by active users of the leading racist website, Stormfront, according to a report released today by the SPLC’s Intelligence Project. Registered Stormfront users have been disproportionately responsible for some of the most lethal hate crimes and mass killings since the web forum became the first hate site on the Internet in 1995, a month before the Oklahoma City bombing. The report found that hate killings by Stormfront members began to accelerate rapidly in early 2009, when Barack Obama took office as the nation’s first black president.
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.”
By attending this 2 1/2 HR training you are committing to give your time and your energy to monitor polls on election day. Vote Defenders will provide voters with information about changing voting laws, document any cases of intimidation or suppression, and conduct an exit survey. You will also aid citizens that encounter trouble. This vital work will make our electorate more educated and will help ensure that noone is denied their fundamental right to the ballot box.
April 19 | Chapel Hill Vote Defender Training | 10am-12:30pm
April 21 | Boone Vote Defender Training | 6pm-8:30pm
April 22 | Greenville Vote Defender Training | 6pm-8:30pm
April 22 | Wilmington Vote Defender Training | 6pm - 8:30pm
April 26 | Charlotte Vote Defender Training | 2:30-4:30
April 26 | Fayetteville Vote Defender Training | 1:00-3:30
April 27 | Asheville Vote Defender Training | 2:00pm - 5:00pm
April 28 | Wake County Training | 6pm-8:30pm
April 30 | Durham Vote Defender Training | 6:30pm-9pm
May 3 | Greensboro Vote Defender Training | 1:00-3:30
RSVP and we will send you exact location and training details.