NAACP encourages NC voters to go to the polls

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Leaders with the North Carolina NAACP rallied Saturday to encourage everyone to get out and vote.

The NAACP has trained people from nearly every county in the state to help educate voters.

“The vote is the most important right that a citizen has,” Carolyn Q. Coleman. 

She was one of many who attended the “NAACP get out the vote” event Saturday.

North Carolina NAACP leader Rev. William Barber spoke about the newly enacted voter ID law.

“The extremist wanted a fight, well you got one. You got one. When you mess with our voting rights, you’ve got a fight on your hand,” Barber said.

The group is still upset about the law, which went into effect Jan. 1.

“Whether it is a general election, a presidential election, or a primary, the right to vote is fundamental and it should not be abridged or denied,” said Caitlin Swain, a community lawyer.

NAACP tried to fight the law before it passed in 2013 by saying it was unconstitutional and put an unfair burden on African American and Hispanic voters.

“We challenged those laws because of what they are going to do. But also because of the purpose with what they were intended,” Swain said.

The NAACP Saturday encouraged voters with a valid ID to vote but also said those without an ID could still vote with a valid impediment.

“Every eligible voter should be able to pass their ballot this March,” Swain said.

The civil rights group is enlisting 3,000 communities of faith and 4,500 volunteers to educate voters.

“We are going to deep organize in 55 counties throughout North Carolina,” Barber said. “We are going to further organize in 90 counties because we understand the fight is on.”

“North Carolina is sending a message to this nation: Do not play politics with the right to vote,” Swain said.

Groups, including the NAACP, will have 700 poll monitors set up across the state to help voters cast ballots and document issues that may come up because of confusion concerning the identification law.

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