On September 25, 2012, National Voter Registration Day, hundreds of East Bay residents joined Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson, Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, Emeryville Mayor Jennifer West and community leaders to ensure that all voters in California are prepared to vote this fall.
In response to moves throughout the country to enact strict voting laws that impose unfair restrictions on eligible voters, Representative Lee and the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) have committed to ensuring that no eligible voter is turned away from the ballot box during early voting and on Election Day.
Block-the-vote efforts, like restrictive voter ID laws, could impede as many as five million people from registering to vote and/or casting a ballot. At least 34 states have introduced laws that would require voters to show photo identification in order to vote. 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.
"We are engaged in a battle to protect the fundamental, Constitutional right to vote," said Representative Lee. "Voter suppression tactics do nothing at all to prevent voter fraud, while disproportionately excluding and disenfranchising people of color, elderly and young adults from their Constitutionally given right to vote. By preparing all Alameda County residents to vote this fall, we are standing in solidarity with communities fighting intense battles against voter suppression efforts throughout the country."
Through a coordinated series of events across the country as part of the CBC's "For the People" Voter Protection Initiative (H. Res. 542), Congresswoman Lee and her colleagues encouraged eligible voters to register and to make certain that they are prepared to vote on Election Day.