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NAACP Supports Efforts to Increase Voter Registration and Turnout and To Ensure that Every Eligible American Can and Does Vote and That His or Her Vote is Counted

WHEREAS, the NAACP has consistently supported federal and state legislative initiative intended to increase the number of eligible voter who participate in election and to ensure that every eligible American can cast a free and unfettered vote and be certain that their vote was accurately counted; and

WHEREAS, these initiatives include the use of a national federal write in absentee ballot; verified ballots; the preservation of voting records; requirements for counting provisional; minimum required voting systems and poll workers in polling places; standards for establishing the minimum required voting systems and poll workers; election day registration; fair, sensible and uniform standard for the removal from voter registration list; early voting; minimum standards for voting systems and voter registration; internet registration standards for voter identification; election administration requirements; required use of publicly available open source software in voting machines; standards for conducting recounts; standards for prohibiting conflicts of interest on entities involved in manufacture, distribution, or other activities relating to voting machine; an increased penalty for voter deception and intimidation; a prohibition on voter caging and other questionable challenges; national re-enfranchisement of formerly incarcerated individuals; and the treatment of election day in the same manner as a legal public holiday for purposes of federal employment; and

WHEREAS, the NAACP National Legal Department supported several NAACP state conferences in their effort to ensure the equal protection of voting rights in the 2008 Presidential election cases in Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Virginia; and

WHEREAS, the N.C. NAACP persuaded North Carolina's Attorney General to file an Amicus Brief and, with the help of the NAACP General Counsel we persuaded Attorney Generals of five other states covered by the Voting Rights Act to sign on to the N.C. Amicus Brief, arguing Section 5 was greatly needed to protect the rights of minorities in a case called Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District Number One (NAMUDNO) v. Holder that had been appealed to the Supreme Court; and

WHEREAS, on June 22, 2009, the Supreme Court issued its decision in NAMUDNO v. Holder that declared Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act imposes ―substantial ‗federalism costs,'‖ ―depart[s] from the fundamental principle of equal sovereignty,‖ and ―raise[s] serious constitutional questions,‖ thus opening the door to future challenges to the Voting Rights Act.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP supports omnibus federal legislation to strengthen our Nation's voting process, encourage more Americans to register and to vote, and to help those Americans be sure that their vote was accurately counted; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP supports H.R. 105, the Voting Opportunity and Technology; Enhancement Rights Act of 2009 introduced by Congressman John Conyers (MI); and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, on this, the 100th Anniversary of the NAACP, in honor of the civil rights warriors who laid down their lives for the right to vote, the NAACP will make one of its highest national priorities the passage of the Constitutional Voting Rights Amendment, introduced by Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. (H.J.Res. 28), which provides that ―all U.S. citizens who are eighteen years of age or older shall have the right to vote in any public election held in the jurisdiction in which the citizen resides;‖ and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP reaffirms its support for the passage of federal legislation to create a uniform system of automatic and permanent universal voter registration; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP Washington Bureau will work with NAACP state conferences and like-minded legislators to enact legislation to attain our voting goal in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and all US territories.

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