National Baptist Convention USA, INC & NAACP Announce Historic Voter Empowerment Partnership

On May 1, National Baptist Convention USA, INC (NBCUSA) and the NAACP announced an historic partnership for voter empowerment ahead of the 2012 elections.  The organizations will work together over the next several months to register, educate, and activate tens of thousands of voters across the country. This partnership is the first of its kind.

“From voter registration to voter education to voter protection, this partnership with the NAACP will allow the NBCUSA to engage more than 10,000 of our congregations across the country in the electoral process,” stated Dr. Julius Scruggs, National Baptist Convention President. “With attacks on voting rights – including cuts to Sunday voting – emerging in state after state, it is critical that we stand together to ensure all of our voices are heard and all of our votes count on Election Day.

In 2008, voters of color – particularly African American voters – turned out in record numbers to cast a ballot.  However, in the last year, more than 30 states have introduced voter suppression laws that disproportionately impact African American voter.  These laws include strict voter ID requirements, cuts to early/Sunday voting and restrictions on voter registration by 3rd party groups.

For the 2012 cycle, the two organizations will work to combat the attacks on voting rights and continue high participation trend through coordinated registration, education, and Get Out the Vote efforts conducted throughout the churches, conventions and sessions of NBCUSA.

“Our partnership with NBCUSA will make it easier for thousands of church-goers to participate on Election Day,” stated Rev. Nelson Rivers III, Vice President of Stakeholder relations with the NAACP. “Our ability to fight injustice rests in our souls and is manifested in our actions. This year, one of the most important actions we can take in this fight is to exercise our right to vote."

Over the next several months Churches will receive training on voter registration through the NAACP.  Additionally, The NAACP will distribute alerts on changes in voter laws at the local level; educate congregants on legislative matters that affect their communities; and ensure churches-goers turn out to the polls and are protected on Election Day.