The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation

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Feb 16, 2012


WASHINGTON, DC-- Congresswoman Rep. Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11), in collaboration with Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD-5), Rep. John Conyers (MI-14), and Rep. John Lewis (GA-5) and in partnership with the Congressional Black Caucus, will host a Voting Rights Briefing, The Evolution of Voting Rights in America: The Struggle Continues, on Friday, February 17 at 1:30p.m. in recognition of Black History Month.

In the last year, state governments across the country implemented laws making it harder for Americans to register or to vote:

  • Thirty-four states proposed or passed voter ID bills, while 21 million people lack the identification required by the new proposals;
  • At least 19 laws making it more difficult to vote passed across the country. New state laws could make it significantly harder for five million Americans to vote in the 2012 election, and many of the restrictions fall most heavily on seniors and young, minority, disabled and low-income voters;
  • These changes have the potential to impact the outcome of the 2012 elections. The states that have already cut back on voting rights will provide 171 electoral votes in 2012, which accounts for 63 percent of the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.

"The disenfranchisement of eligible voters is one of the most pressing issues facing our nation. Changing voting laws to exclude a certain segment of the population is wrong and must not be tolerated. Proponents of suppressive laws say that fraud and cost drive the need for election reforms, but by looking at the kinds of reforms proposed, it is easy to tell the laws have only one true purpose: to suppress predetermined segments of the population. Limiting early voting periods, changing registration processes, eliminating Sunday voting, and limiting vote by mail will make it more difficult for young people, minorities, the disabled, seniors, and individuals with past criminal convictions to exercise their right to vote," said Congresswoman Fudge.

Date: Friday, February 17, 2012 Time: 1:30p.m.-3:30p.m. Location: Cannon Caucus Room (Cannon 345) *members are scheduled to speak at the beginning of the event

The briefing will include a state-by-state analysis of new laws and the impact of laws on the 2012 election with a focus on specific constituencies, including minorities, seniors, disabled, students, and individuals with past criminal convictions.

Expert panelists will be in attendance from:

  • Advancement Project
  • American Association of People with Disabilities
  • American Civil Liberties Union
  • Black Youth Vote!
  • Brennan Center for Justice

Moderated by The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Presentations will last until about 2:30pm. At least 45 minutes will be reserved for a question and answer session.

Congresswoman Fudge has been an outspoken advocate for ensuring that every eligible American maintains the right to vote.

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