A coalition of nearly 20 organizations, including the NAACP and the National Urban League, announced they have launched a “Stand for Freedom” voting rights campaign and also a major mobilization on Dec. 10 — United Nations Human Rights Day — to protest what they say is an attack on voting rights throughout the country.
The campaign will take aim at election laws which, the coalition says, will suppress the rights of millions of Americans to vote in 2012 and beyond. In dozens of states, new rules will create what the coalition describes as a modern-day poll tax by requiring voters to obtain and present official photo ID in order to cast ballots. In many of those same states, new laws significantly cut early voting and Sunday voting, as well.
African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, Native Americans, seniors, students, working women and immigrants will be disproportionately affected by the new laws, the coalition says, noting that they are less likely to have identification that complies with the strict new rules.
While voters in some states may request free photo IDs from state motor vehicles departments, they must still pay to obtain underlying documents, such as birth certificates, necessary to get the photo ID, which could discourage them from voting, the coalition argues.