PHILADELPHIA (NNPA) – Moments after delivering a keynote address at the NAACP national convention Monday at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman and U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) expanded on the Democrats’ agenda regarding the Affordable Care Act, voter rights and the “transparent” efforts of Republican Party to make inroads into minority communities.
“I talked about the importance of making sure that we not roll back all of the progress we’ve been able to make over the past almost seven years under President Barack Obama’s administration, whether it’s the 16 million Americans who benefited from access to quality, affordable healthcare that they have not previously had, to voting rights, which is obviously right in the wheelhouse of the NAACP,” she said. “And to reiterate that we have to all stand and remain vigilant to ensure [voters are protected], whether its photo ID laws, or early voting hours, or weekend voting, or protecting the ‘souls to the polls Sundays’ [church-voter education effort].”
Schultz, who represents parts of Broward and Miami–Dade Counties, said the Republicans “are all in lockstep, led by their governors across the country,” to try to derail progress made regarding voter ID.
Shultz, as a veteran legislator, is intimately aware that voter ID is a lightning-rod issue, especially in her home state, which requires photo identification to vote.
According to the Florida Division of Elections, voters there will be asked to provide acceptable forms of identification; if voters there do not have an acceptable form of photo ID, they can still cast a provisional ballot. Pennsylvania is one of several states that do not require a photo ID at the polls.
Schultz reiterated her belief that Republicans, especially Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, are still “trying to throw obstacles” in the path of voters who would more likely vote Democrat.
To counter, the DNC is in the midst of a nationwide voter expansion program and working with organizations such as the NAACP and other allied groups, to help register voters and ensure they get to the polls.
Shultz took umbrage with the GOP presidential candidate slate in general – and with Walker in particular – for their positions on voter ID and what Shultz perceived as the party’s less than authentic recent catering of the African–American community.
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