Defeating voter suppression The North Carolina Model: Educate, Organize and Mobilize
The N.C. Model campaign to defeat voter suppression is designed to help create a blueprint that highlights the various parts, participants and processes of our statewide effort to protect democracy and promote our constitutionally guaranteed right to "one man one vote". We are monitoring and assessing the various local, state and national organizations that are, or should be a part of our campaign to educate, organize and mobilize voters to defeat voter suppression. Hopefully, we will suggest ways to improve their efforts and participation in defeating voter suppression.
The N.C. Model will evolve with contributions of ideas and resources by all that have a genuine desire to protect the precious right of all citizens to vote. No contribution is too small to be included in this process and it is important that we continuously review and revise our ideas as we go forward.
With their numbers crashing to new lows, the Republican Party and its extremist Tea Party arm will be even more determined to suppress votes, according to Adalia Woodbury in PoliticusUSA.com. Of the 36 states that have voter suppression laws, North Carolina has the most stringent with its combination of restrictions at every phase of the voting process. Aside from unnecessarily stringent voter ID requirements, the law introduces new restrictions on voter registration, and reduces opportunities to vote early.
Greater Diversity News (GDN) is involved in creating and supporting this model and will publish appropriate stories to that end. Of primary importance is educating our readers to understand voter suppression and to know it when they see it. One of our earlier articles on that topic was "Defeat Voter Suppression: Battling a 'Hydra'". We will continue to update our articles to keep them current and to reprint them as part of our ongoing education initiative. For important and informative coverage that will help readers understand the legal arguments, developments and the history of voter suppression in our state, I recommend North Carolina voting cases.
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Democracy North Carolina has issued the following invitation to join Operation Jumpstart and do something about North Carolina’s new voter suppression law that makes it harder for people vote. Operation Jumpstart is a statewide campaign for volunteers who want to spend a few hours over the next few months to help people register to vote, understand the new election rules, or get the right ID for voting by 2016. This ambitious program is coordinated by Democracy North Carolina, a nonpartisan organization with a growing organizing and training staff in partnership with two-dozen other nonprofit groups.
It has been heavily involved in the Moral Monday Forward Together movement led by the NC NAACP, and are also helping people turn their protest energy into pro-active projects that will increase voter participation.
According to Democracy NC, you can help jumpstart the vote in 2014 and beyond. For example, volunteers are needed to:
- Call a list of voters who most likely don’t have ID.
- Conduct voter registration drives.
- Distribute flyers to beauty shops, community centers, etc.
They will provide lists, action guides and resource materials, but are also looking to volunteers for creative ideas and leadership. If you’d like to work with others in your area please volunteer and support Operation Jumpstart. Democracy North Carolina is not affiliated with any party.
Understanding that the campaign to defeat voter suppression is transitional, most efforts should use election dates as markers for the accomplishment of specific tasks. Operation Jumpstart’s first target appears to be activities leading up to the May primaries. Primaries are non-partisan and therefore several partisan election suppression threats will probably not be encountered. We’ll discuss this further in the coming weeks. However, primaries are excellent opportunities to test the effectiveness of voter ID campaigns, community organizations and mobilizations.
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 Us" and follow us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/votersuppression), “Share" our articles, and/or share your ideas and comments at our http://www.defeatvotersuppression.com website and on GreaterDiversity.com. Please join our network to receive a free subscription of our weekly eNews of Greater Diversity News http://greaterdiversity.com/join-the-gdn-network-register-for-free.html or a paid subscription to our print copy (call 800.462.0738). Lastly, to promote our campaign to defeat voter suppression, please ask all of your Facebook "Friends" to follow the above-referenced recommendations. •