Black Women Leading The Fight Against Voter ID Laws
In the face of voter ID laws that could potentially disenfranchise thousands of minority voters this November, black women in particular are at the forefront of voting rights advocacy across the country.
And the energy and enthusiasm was palpable at a political strategy session in Washington DC this week.
Black women have historically been a significant demographic for the Democratic Party.
“In a room at the Washington Convention Center on Wednesday, the sense of urgency among the women was palpable. They noted that voter registration deadlines in some states are as early as Oct. 6, the last of them on Oct. 16. Few attendees accepted the argument that the new voting laws were intended to fight fraud, as supporters of those laws maintain.
Judith Browne-Dianis, co-director of The Advancement Project, said black women showed in 2008 they can turn out in record numbers. But in 2010, “we sat home and while we were sitting at home, there were others that were plotting and what they decided to do was to change the rules of the game.”
The women invoke the name of abolitionist and women’s suffragist Sojourner Truth, and repeat civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer’s famous line — “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired” — as a rallying cry. They talk strategy about checking to see who’s been purged from voter rolls or locating documents that voters need to get photo identification. All along, they remind voters of the time, before the Voting Rights Act of 1965 became law, when black people were kept from voting.”
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