NAACP fights for voters' rights


The group held the "This Is My Vote" conference, along with its annual advocacy training sessions at the Convention Center downtown. The event kicked off a year-long initiative to register new voters.

"It's important for people like you, in the grassroots, in your communities, in your states, staying active, staying involved, but most importantly, passing the message on," Senator Floyd McKissick said.

Many NAACP members believe there has been a collective effort by conservatives in states across the South and around the country to change voting laws and curtail voting rights.

"Just over the last few years, we have seen over 1000 bills introduced in state legislatures that would restrict or limit your access to the polls and inhibit your ability to elect representatives of your choosing," one speaker at Saturday's event said.

In North Carolina, the Republican legislature did not pass the Voter I.D. Act. It would have required photo identification at the polls and many feared it would have disenfranchised many people, mainly students and the elderly.

"We had a courageous governor that went out there and vetoed it," McKissick said.

Republicans are now saying that when they come back to Raleigh in May, they will likely take up a compromise voter I.D. bill, which would be a scaled back version of the one Governor Perdue vetoed. But it's a move that NAACP leaders still would not approve of.

"There's no compromise. There's no compromise on our voting rights.  And we say that to anybody, democrats or republicans, there's no compromise," N.C. NAACP President Rev. William Barber said.

Majority leader Skip Stam told ABC11 that he believes there may be enough votes to override the voter I.D. veto.

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