The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the nation’s largest civil rights group, believes that there’s an effort to prevent black and Hispanic voters from participating in the 2012 presidential election.
The group is so convinced that this plot is underway, that it’s petitioning the United Nations for support. The Guardian has more about these claims:
The NAACP contends that [America is] in the throes of a consciously conceived and orchestrated move to strip black and other ethnic minority groups of the right to vote. William Barber, a member of the association’s national board, said it was the “most vicious, co-ordinated and sinister attack to narrow participation in our democracy since the early 20th century”.
The voting measures that have been placed on the books in 14 states are said to be unfair. Additionally, the NAACP claims that they will disproportionately impact minorities. The group has produced a report — “Defending Democracy: Confronting Modern Barriers to Voting Rights in America” — to highlight 25 concerning regulations that have been implemented.
The association has also put together a video that addresses these concerns:
The introduction of the report reads, in part:
This assault—which was launched to affect the 2012 elections, as well as future ones—threatens to undermine the 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 young voters.
These concerted “block the vote” efforts are a direct response to two important recent developments: (1) the unprecedented levels of political participation by African Americans and other voters of color in the 2008 Presidential Election, and (2) the significant growth of communities of color, as reflected in the 2010 Census.
The Guardian reports that the group is expected to send legal experts to Geneva, Switzerland, in March to provide evidence of the alleged vote blocking that is reportedly taking place in state legislatures across the nation. By doing this, the NAACP is hoping to gain the support of the U.N. human rights council.
The association claims that the measures are underway in states where the black and Hispanic populations have been growing. The group sees these initiatives as a direct response to growing ethnic voter engagement, which surged in 2008 during Barack Obama’s campaign.
According to Benjamin Jealous, the president of the NAACP, the actions taken in these states amount to “a massive attempt at state-sponsored voter suppression.” The U.N. will be sought out to assist in what seems like a “co-ordinated campaign to disenfranchise persons of color.”
Read more about these claims here.