Voter protection is a major concern in this election and the NAACP is taking action with their “Selma Initiative.”
In the first major election without the full protection of the Voting Rights Act, the NAACP’s “Selma Initiative” has been active in the last five days before the 2016 election and mobilized a conglomerate of two million digital activists and 2,200 local units working to inform voters of their rights, as well as serve as a resource for reporting voter obstruction.
The NAACP national mobilization campaign targets 17 critically vulnerable states and supports all 50. Through door-to-door canvassing, more than 40 in-person phone banks and countless more automated voter outreach drives, we have reached more than 6,022 African American precincts (those with an African American population at least 65%).
Brooks told Martin the “Selma Initiative” is comprised of a “wide-ranging coalition from the HBCUs to the Divine Nine, fraternities and sororities, Elks and Masons, the Links, the Boule, the National Head Start Association, Reform Rabbis, the A.M.E. Church, [and] the Baptist Church.”
According to Brooks, this confluence of individuals creates a “well-equipped coalition to battle voter suppression.”
The head of the NAACP said in an election “where you have a presidential candidate calling for voter suppression, where we have White nationalists saying that (according to their words), ‘We’re going to dispense malt liquor and marijuana in Black communities to divert people from voting’ we need to be clear about this.”
Brooks called what is taking place in certain areas of America “an ugly unconstitutional, unconscionable form of activity (…) against our best interests.”
Brooks said, “The Selma Initiative is about addressing that … We are on the front lines doing something about this.”
Looking forward to November 9th and beyond, Brooks proclaimed “priority one is fixing the right to vote – everything else is secondary to that.”
Watch Roland Martin, Cornell W. Brooks, and the NewsOne Now panel discuss the NAACP’s voter protection initiative in the video clip above.
If you experience or witness voter obstruction on or before Election Day, the NAACP implores you to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-866-OUR-VOTE to report the incident or ask for help.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty