The NAACP announced that it is partnering with nonprofit organization Vote.org to help register and mobilize eligible Black voters ahead of the midterm elections in November.
The partnership, which launches this month, will provide digital tools and training to more than two million NAACP volunteers and leaders throughout the United States. NAACP leaders will use the voting tools in their local communities in an effort to help simplify the voting process, lower barriers to political participation and boost turnout among Black voters at the polls.
“There will be special emphasis in targeted states, because the barriers to access and capital effectiveness has been high,” NAACP President Derrick Johnson told NBC News. “But overall, we want individuals to be involved [and] engaged. We want to increase the number of people who are voting and not allow those seeking to limit access to voting to succeed.”
According to its website, Vote.org helped more than 4.2 million people register to vote, and more than 3.4 million people to request absentee ballots, in 2020. The nonprofit organization helped 39 million people navigate voting deadlines, polling locations and other essential voting information for each state as well.
“Instead of celebrating 2020’s historic voter turnout, state lawmakers have spent the past two years passing laws to prevent young people and communities of color from casting their ballots,“ Vote.org CEO Andrea Hailey said in a statement to The Hill. “Our democracy is stronger when everyone can vote. Vote.org is proud to work with NAACP to defend voting rights and make sure that every eligible voter can make their voice heard in November and beyond.”
According to an analysis by the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, since last year, at least 19 states passed 34 restrictive voting rights laws, many of which disproportionately impact Black voters and voters of color. In 2021, more than 440 bills with provisions that restrict voting access were introduced in 49 states.
These restrictive voting rights laws make it easier for election officials to purge voter rolls. A data analysis from TargetSmart, a political data and service firm, shows that from November 2020 to July 2021, more than 8.6 million voters were purged from official registration lists nationwide.
“Our lives are being taken from us and our democracy is being stolen from us. We have been gunned-down at the grocery store and silenced at the ballot box. Now, the Supreme Court is coming for our constitutional rights as well,” Johnson said in a statement. “One thing is clear, our rights and our political power are being targeted and gutted as we speak.”
“At this moment, our right to defend all rights – the right to vote – hangs in the balance. If we don’t organize and exercise our right to vote this November, we may very well lose our ability to participate in future elections,” NAACP President Johnson continued. “This is why we are partnering with Vote.org. We are partnering to defend democracy for all.”