Sixth District Congressman and Member of the Congressional Black Caucus, James E. Clyburn, will be joined by Reverend Al Sharpton of the National Action Network at a Columbia Voter Engagement and Protection Community Forum on Tuesday, September 25 -- National Voter Registration Day. The event will be held at Drew Wellness Center, 2101 Walker Solomon Way, at 10:00 am. The forum is open to the public and will be attended by Benedict College and Allen University students.
"National Voter Registration Day is a time for us to reflect on the hard won right to vote and draw attention to efforts like those in South Carolina to curtail that right," Congressman Clyburn said. "Voter ID laws are nothing more than Voter Denied laws, and I am pleased Reverend Sharpton is coming to Columbia to highlight this travesty."
"I'm glad to join Congressman Clyburn on an effort that is one of the most important issues of our time and one that far too many people sacrificed for," said Rev Al Sharpton, President of National Action Network. "Voter suppression is designed to prevent us from casting legitimate ballots and the best way to fight it is to expose it."
The Columbia forum will be one of several "Vote Ready" events coordinated across the country on National Voter Registration Day by members of the Congressional Black Caucus as a part of the "For the People" Voter Protection Initiative H. Res. 542 to bring attention to block the vote efforts. Restrictive voter ID laws may impede as many as 5 million people from registering to vote and/or casting a ballot this November.
At least 34 states, including South Carolina, have introduced laws that would require voters to show photo identification in order to vote and at least 12 states have introduced laws that would require proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate, to register to vote or to vote. The states that have already cut back on voting rights provide 171 electoral votes in 2012, 63 percent of the 270 needed to win the presidency.
As part of the National Voter Registration Day event, voter registration opportunities will be provided by the South Carolina Voter Education Project from 9:00 a.m.-- 12:00 p.m. at the Drew Wellness Center. The last day to register to vote in South Carolina before the November election is Saturday, October 6.