“Prepared to Vote 2012” is LDF’s non-partisan, multi-channel public education and empowerment campaign, designed to increase and protect African American participation in the 2012 elections.
Through Prepared to Vote 2012, LDF has partnered with local, regional, and national organizations to assess the needs of local communities and fill in various gaps in information about voting/voter readiness.
This campaign is even more necessary in 2012 to equip voters with information in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas about when, where and how to vote in the face of new barriers (e.g., photo ID laws) to their participation in the electoral process. LDF’s 2008 Prepared to Vote program reached and empowered more than 1 million individuals across ten states.
Working hand-in-hand with legal and grassroots partners, LDF is on the ground now in targets states to provide voters with valuable information about voter eligibility, voter registration and the Election Day process.
Why We Must Prepare to Vote in 2012: In the past two years, dozens of states launched a coordinated and intense assault on our voting rights.
In particular, various states sought to restrict voter registration drives, increase the disfranchisement of people with felony convictions, substantially reduce the opportunity to vote early, and erect barriers on Election Day by requiring government-issued photo identification.
Nationally, an incredible 25% of African Americans and 16% of Latinos do not possess valid government-issued photo ID. By comparison, only 8% of whites are without such identification.
At the same time, there have been more challenges to the constitutionality of the heart of the Voting Rights Act—the core protection against racial discrimination in voting—in the past two years than in its previous 45 years of existence.
This assault was launched to affect the 2012 elections, and aims to undermine record levels of political participation achieved during the historic 2008 Presidential Election by suppressing the political participation of people of color, the poor, the elderly, and the young.
Read more about this recent assault on voting rights in LDF’s report, “Defending Democracy: Confronting Modern Barriers to Voting Rights in America“.
Why We Must Act to Protect Democracy: But we’ve seen this familiar story play out before. These suppression efforts represent another chapter in the struggle to expand American voting rights. We cannot stop working to ensure that our democracy functions for all of its citizens!
Our job in defending and advancing the political rights of African Americans and other people of color, which has advanced the rights of all other communities, remains urgent and requires action.
Indeed, our efforts so far have been successful. In the last two years, nearly every voter restriction that has been challenged has been blocked or weakened through litigation and other advocacy.
It has been an extraordinary string of victories in our efforts to oppose these laws. But much more is required.