On September 25, 2012, National Voter Registration Day, hundreds of metro Atlanta residents will join Reps. John Lewis, David Scott and Hank Johnson along with a cross-section of Atlanta voter rights groups to make sure all eligible voters in Georgia are registered and prepared to vote this fall.
The event will be one of many across the country held simultaneously by varying members of the Congressional Black Caucus, as a part of the "For the People" Voter Protection Initiative H. Res. 542. In Atlanta, the congressmen and speakers will discuss voter suppression efforts, such as restrictive voter ID laws, which may impede as many as 5 million Americans from registering to vote and/or casting a ballot this November.
At least 34 states 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. States that have passed voter suppression laws account for 171 electoral votes in 2012, 63 percent of the 270 needed to win the presidency. In Georgia, voter ID laws passed in 2005 made the state one of the earliest adopters of voter suppression techniques.
"The founders of this nation declared every individual has an immutable right to determine his or her own future," said Rep. Lewis. "That is why voting should be easy, simple and accessible to every citizen in a democracy, regardless of language, education, class or zip code. The vote is the most powerful non-violent tool we have to build a more perfect union. That is why we must continue to struggle and resist every attempt to block access to the ballot box."
"A citizen's right to vote must not be left to the political winds of the day but should be protected to fulfill our nation's ideals of equality for all Americans," said Rep. Scott. "Although we have come a long way by ending the techniques used for decades to deny millions of minorities the right to vote, voter inequities, disparities, and obstacles still remain for far too many voters."
"Across the country, our Constitutional right to vote is under attack," said Rep. Johnson. "Sweeping new state voter laws -- including an end to same-day registration, cuts to early voting and voter ID laws -- create barriers for millions of voters. Nothing is more fundamental in our democracy than the right to vote. We must reject any attempts to curb citizens' access to the ballot."
The Congressmen and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus are committed to ensuring that no eligible voter is turned away from the ballot box during early voting and on Election Day.
For more information about the events to protect the right to vote for all eligible voters, visit:
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