NAACP, Labor Leaders Visit Pittsburgh Church to Urge Congregants to Register, Activate and Mobilize

Groups to Redouble Efforts in State after Strict ID Law Upheld

(Pittsburgh, PA) – Today, NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous, United Steelworkers International Vice President Fred Redmond, and local activists attended Wesley Center AME Zion Church to discuss the new attacks on voting rights, what’s at stake in this year’s election, and the role the church plays in civic engagement.

“We in the midst of the greatest wave of legislative assaults on the right to vote in over a century,” stated Benjamin Jealous. “While many states have recently seen their strict voter ID laws overturned, Pennsylvania's remains, making it much harder for citizens to vote here than in the rest of the country."

This year Pennsylvania passed a strict voter photo ID measure that could prevent nearly 800,000 eligible voters from having their votes counted on Election Day. Though the law was passed under the guise of preventing voter fraud, officials admit that there have been no examples of in-person voter fraud in the state.

“While Organized Labor has adamantly opposed the repressive Voter ID Bill that was put into law by Governor Tom Corbett and the Pennsylvania Legislature, we are committed to ensuring that every person who is legally eligible to cast a vote is allowed to do so and that there vote is counted,” stated United Steelworkers International Union Vice President Vice President Fred Redmond. “We are going to educate and mobilize voters like never before to ensure that Voting Rights and Democracy are preserved.”

In recent weeks, laws restricting access to the ballot have been in Florida, Wisconsin and Texas, while gubernatorial vetoes have limited similar legislation in Michigan and Virginia.

In May, the NAACP launched This is My Vote! a non-partisan 50-state electoral program in the country. The campaign will register and educate new voters, and conduct a Get Out The Vote (GOTV) campaign near Election Day. The campaign will use door-to-door canvassing, registration booths at public events and work with churches throughout the state to help attract and turn out new voters.

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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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