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NAACP Calls a For a 21st Century Voting Rights Act and Expresses Deep Outrage at the U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Shelby County vs. Holder

WHEREAS, the NAACP has a long and rich history of advocating for the expansion and protection of voting rights in America; and

WHEREAS, on June 25th the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Shelby County vs. Holder that Section 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act, the formula used to determine "covered jurisdictions" that must submit any changes in voting procedure to federal authorities for pre-clearance, is unconstitutional; and

WHEREAS, in striking down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, but leaving Section 5 untouched, there is no longer a mechanism in place to prevent states with a history of voter disenfranchisement from enacting such laws; and

WHEREAS, the United States Congress has the opportunity and responsibility to create a new formula, based on current conditions, to determine which jurisdictions must submit to pre-clearance under Section 5, and

WHEREAS, until Congress acts to create a new formula, no jurisdictions are required to obtain pre-clearance from the federal government for any election law or procedures, allowing the voting rights of millions of Americans to be at risk.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP calls on Congress to amend Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act law to ensure that all Americans can freely exercise their right to cast an unfettered ballot without discrimination and to ensure that their vote is counted;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP calls for a moratorium on election law changes in states and jurisdictions previously covered under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act until Congress enacts a new formula; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP calls on all units to organize town hall meetings, actions, and events with their local Congressional representatives; conduct voter registration drives; organize public education events; and work with partner organizations, including the faith community, to expand and protect voting rights; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP will launch a national campaign to strongly urge Congress to make a renewed Section 4 a national priority and defend voting rights across the nation. The campaign, at its center, will evoke the values of democracy and freedom grounded in the moral authority that the NAACP is uniquely able to evoke. The campaign will include: support to state wide campaigns; intense summer organizing efforts in local communities across the nation; a comprehensive data gathering program aimed at monitoring election law changes in former Section 5 jurisdictions; national voter education and registration drives; national polling; strategic communications; expanded legal advocacy; and partnerships with a wide range of national allies in efforts to expand and protect voting rights; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP will host a voting rights summit; provide units with a comprehensive toolkit; and conduct unit trainings to combat voter suppression measures and advance the campaign; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that building upon the organizing efforts of NAACP units, the NAACP will launch Freedom Summer 2014 in multiple states across the nation. Freedom Summer 2014 will be organized in consultation with leaders and participants of Freedom Summer 1964. Freedom Summer 2014 will focus on intensive volunteer-led voter education, protection and registration efforts in states with historical and current attempt to suppress voting rights.

Derrick Lewis - Youth & College Hero

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