12:17pm August 24, 2012

6 Million Can’t Vote: NAACP to Focus on Felon Voting Rights Near GOP Convention


On the morning of the second day of the Republican Convention, the NAACP will hold a press conference to highlight felony voting rights as a tool of voter suppression.  Six million convicted felons do not have the right to vote in the U.S.

NAACP President Ben Jealous, NAACP Vice President Hilary Shelton along with local NAACP leaders and community activists Adora Obi Nweze, Lenny McAllister, who is a Senior Contributor to Politic365 and a CNN analyst, Kemba Smith Pradia, and Desmond Meade will meet with reporters on the issue at Perry Harvey Park in Tampa, Florida on August 28th at 11:00 am.

The NAACP’s press release states that, “felony disenfranchisement is the method of voter suppression that dates back to the Jim Crow Era. It was one of many tools used by state legislators to prevent full political participation by African Americans. Today, nearly 6 million voters are disenfranchised due to felony disenfranchisement across 48 states.”Kemba Smith Pradia, and Desmond Meade will meet with reporters on the issue at Perry Harvey Park in Tampa, Florida on August 28th at 11:00 am.

“To bring awareness to this historic voter suppression tactic, the NAACP Voting Rights Initiative is launching a billboard campaign featuring faces of disenfranchised voters. The launch will take place outside Republican National Convention and will feature leaders of the NAACP, disenfranchised voters, and representatives of both political parties who disagree with the suppressive tactic,” the NAACP added.


About the Author

Lauren Victoria Burke
Lauren Victoria Burke
Lauren Victoria Burke is an opinion journalist, comms expert and political analyst focused on justice reform policy. She created Crewof42.com, a blog that covers the work of Black members of Congress, in 2009. Ms. Burke was a staffer for the Senate Democratic Policy Committee and Director of Communications for Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN). She has had a very diverse career in politics and media and appears regularly on NewsOneNow with Roland Martin, Hardball and Up on MSNBC, WVON in Chicago, WURD in Philadelphia and WOL and WHUR in Washington, D.C. She is currently the Managing Editor of Politic365 and a contributing writer for TheRoot and NBC Black where she writes opinion and analysis. Additionally, Ms. Burke has been a contract photographer for Associated Press since 2004. She has authored three books of photography including two on President Obama's 2008 campaign for the presidency and one with Marvel Comics publisher Stan Lee. Ms. Burke was born in the Bronx, New York and grew up on Long Island. She holds a B.A. in History from The American University. Here e-mail is: LBurke007@gmail.com. Twitter: @LVBurke. Instagram: LVB325.



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  1. fred

    I think it's a great idea and a public service for the NAACP to feature a billboard with photos of theses felons so we can all watch out for those criminals. But I also believe it was wrong for the states to change the law after these criminals were convicted. If the law had already been in effect for decades I can see the point, but how could any of these criminals know that a felony conviction would cost them their voting priveledges? Wait, oh right it's always been the law and these criminals decided to commit felonies anyway. Why are democrats so hot for the criminal vote anyway? I guess they pretty sure that it's the democrat party that best represents the interests of convicted felons.

    • Al-Hakim Khabir

      You use the word criminal with strong intent, where only if you realized who the real criminals were….they don't have felony convictions, I give you a hint….

  2. ana

    Also it would be great to post a picture of The Crooks in The Republican Party who Sit on Their So Call Self- Righteous Criminal Disgusting Butts and Implement The Many Unfair, Unjust.and Unequal Laws. Which They Should be Held Accountable and Locked Up and Jailed in The Prison Industrial Complex Themselves…How Do The Criminal Justice System Allow So Many Black Men To Be Incarcerated, Especially For Low Level Non-Violent Offenses? Why are So Many So Call White Collar Criminals Allowed To Lie And Start Wars, And Kill Millions of People, Steal And Committ Fraud To Cause Millions Upon Millions Of People To Lose Their Homes And Subsequently Lose Their Lively-Hoods?

  3. RogerClegg

    It is simply not true that the felon disenfranchisement laws on the books are rooted in racism (if they were, they would be easily challenged by the NAACP as unconsitutional). Look, it's not that complicated: If you aren’t willing to follow the law yourself, then you can’t demand a role in making the law for everyone else, which is what you do when you vote. The right to vote can be restored to felons, but it should be done carefully, on a case-by-case basis after a person has shown that he or she has really turned over a new leaf, not automatically on the day someone walks out of prison. Read more about this issue on our website here [ http://www.ceousa.org/voting/voting-news/felon-vo... ] and our congressional testimony here: [ http://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/pdf/Clegg1003... ]

  4. [...] 6 Million Can’t Vote: NAACP to Focus on Felon Voting Rights Near GOP Convention (politic365.com) [...]

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