ABOVE PHOTO: activist Kari Fulton, poses at her neighborhood in Washington in 2008. Fulton, 23, was part of a group of young blacks from across the country who worked to register and turn out young black voters in the presidential election. The NAACP is looking for a million more voters who will be 18 by the 2012 November Elections.
(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
If the NAACP, black colleges and African-American churches get their way, there will be an additional 1 million black 18-year-olds flooding the nation’s voting stations to presumably vote for President Obama in the fall.
The civil rights group on Wednesday announced a 50-state initiative with the 7.5 million member National Baptist Convention, historically-black Clark-Atlanta University and radio personality Tom Joyner to register voters who turn 18 by Election Day.
The “This Is My Vote!” campaign is part of the minority community’s effort to fight voter identification and other ballot protection measures which they claim would limit the minority vote. “When voter suppression is the problem, voting is the answer,” said NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous. Julius Scruggs, National Baptist Convention USA president, said he plans to take the voter drive to 10,000 African American churches.
Fans of voter ID laws say they are simply trying to protect ballot accuracy. The NAACP-led coalition, however, said a quarter of blacks don’t have photo ID.
About 16 million blacks voted in 2008 and Obama won virtually all. A 1 million surge in new teen voters would help Obama offset the anticipated drop off in white voter support in the fall.