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Strengthening the American Democratic Process

WHEREAS, since its inception, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has worked for the political empowerment of African Americans and other people of color in our country; and

WHEREAS, the NAACP was a key leader in the passage and signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and all of its amendments, including the most recent amendment in 2006; and

WHEREAS, on June 23, 2013, the United States Supreme Court invalidated Section 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which contained a formula that determined which jurisdictions required clearance from the Department of Justice before making any changes to  their voting laws or procedures; and

WHEREAS, the Supreme Court expressly invited the Congress of the United States to reconstruct the pre-clearance formula based on current statistics, and the Congress has failed to do in the four years since the Supreme Court's decision; and

WHEREAS, within hours of the Supreme Court's 2013 decision, Texas and other states began the process of creating or implementing laws whose design and/or effect would be suppression of the votes of African-American and Latino voters; and

WHEREAS, the primary justification for these voter suppression efforts is the spurious claim of widespread voter impersonation or "voter fraud"; and

WHEREAS, many studies have shown that "voter fraud" is virtually nonexistent in this country and the Washington Post recently conducted a study which determined that only 31 out of 1 billion votes castin the United States between 2000 and 2014 were alleged to be potentially fraudulent; and

WHEREAS, despite the absence of any factual basis for claims of voter fraud, several states have imposed voting restrictions which have affected African-American and Latino citizens in disproportionate numbers; and

WHEREAS, voter participation remains at abysmally low levels even in recent election cycles, including a participation rate at less than 60 percent in the most recent presidential general election; and

WHEREAS, despite this low voter turnout, many state officials still seek to make voting more burdensome and less convenient by passing regressive voter identification, proof of citizenship and other laws; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Fourth and Fifth Circuit Courts of Appeal recently held that Texas and North Carolina imposed voting restrictions that discriminated against African Americans and Latinos, and in North Carolina's case, was created with a racially discriminatory purpose; and

WHEREAS, most voting requirements and restrictions are imposed at the state and local levels; and

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP calls on the Governors, Attorneys General, and Chief Election Officials in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to work with us to put forth strong legislation that promotes voter registration and participation across all geographic areas and demographic groups; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP calls on the President, Attorney General, and Congress to increase staffing and funding in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP calls upon President Trump to disband his task force on so-called "voter fraud" and to replace it with a task force on reducing voter suppression and increasing voter registration and participation; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP will work towards all future election cycles to empower our units and members to advocate on the local, state, federal level for laws that expand the vote for all citizens.