NAACP Flexes Voter Protection Muscle


Yesterday, the NAACP Virginia State Conference, The Advancement Project and the law firm of Hill, Tucker & Marsh filed suit against the Commonwealth of Virginia for not allocating adequate election resources.  

This is just one of many steps that the NAACP and its coalition partners have taken to insist that the states’ Chief Election Officials and Governors throughout the United States verify actions they have taken to ensure that voters' rights are protected, and that every ballot cast on Nov. 4 is counted.

In a letter sent to Election Officials last Friday, NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous requested that each election official provide specific information as to how their state plans to advance voter participation, thwart voter fraud and intimidation, and make sure the needs of voters are met next week.  

"The increased numbers of expected voters, brings about increased opportunities for mischief and disenfranchisement," Jealous wrote. "The NAACP has placed a premium on ensuring that the 2008 election is smooth, fair and truly democratic."

In summary, the letter asks each States Chief Elections Officer several questions. Including:

  • What they have done or are doing to ensure that there are an adequate number of election workers and operational voting machines, and that the workers are sufficiently trained to handle any questions or problems;
  • What they have done to clarify their state's policies on the voting rights of Americans going through foreclosure to ensure that they are not erroneously purged from voting rolls;
  • What they have done or are doing to ensure that all voters and election workers are aware of their state's existing voter identification requirements;
  • What they have done to educate their state's voters and election workers on the proper use and processing of provisional ballots;
  • The extent to which they have trained election workers on how to determine if a voter who is not on the rolls at a given election site can determine if he or she is slated to vote at another site;
  • Any and all steps taken to prevent voter intimidation;
  • If they have trained election workers on how to handle potential third party challenges at the polls;
  • All steps taken to ensure that every polling place in their state has adequate facilities to deal with eligible, registered voters who may be disabled, temporarily or permanently.

The complete letter can be found online at

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.



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