The recent implementation of new state voter ID laws has caused politicians, watchdog organizations and media outlets to mobilize with the purpose of informing and assisting our citizens. The NAACP, the nations’ oldest and largest civil rights organization, has launched 1-866-MY-VOTE-1, a national voter empowerment hotline in partnership with the National Urban League, radio personality Tom Joyner and publishers and editors from news outlets across the country. The hotline is part of the NAACP’s comprehensive voter empowerment campaign for the 2012 elections.
“In 2008, 1-866-MY-VOTE-1 was given a lot of credit for galvanizing Black voters to register to vote,” said Joyner. “The result was record-breaking numbers of African Americans going to the polls. With help of 1-866-MY-VOTE-1… we can get people fired up and to the polls in record numbers again this year.”
Given the belief that there is a “massive attack on voting rights in this country” as stated by NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous, this looks to be a timely and effective response.
“This year, voter registration is [the] first major hurdle to voter participation and 1-866-MY-VOTE-1 is a tool to help clear that hurdle,” said Jealous.
If the nearly 300,000 callers and the 100,000 voters that 1-866-MY-VOTE-1 helped to register in 2008 serves as an indicator of its influence in the 2012 elections, then it may very well be a viable tool for the countless Black voters that the voter id law is believed to target.
“Particularly in an era where the very right to vote hangs in the balance in some states thanks to voter ID laws, taking proactive steps to educate people about the importance of voting and actually registering people to vote is more than a symbolic gesture,” said Kristal High, Editor-in-Chief of Politic 365, an online newsmagazine. “That is why Politic365 is committed to promoting the 1-866-MY-VOTE-1 hotline.”
Upon calling the hotline, users are greeted by Roland Martin, a journalist, syndicated columnist and CNN analyzer. “This call is the first step in making your vote count and your voice heard,” says Martin. Users are directed to enter their 5 digit zip code, and are then presented with the option to register to vote, find a location, file a report or speak with a voter registration specialist.
Public Service Announcements starring celebrities such as Angela Bassett and Dionne Warwick are in the works to ensure voters (and potential voters) know that this service is available to them.
If you require assistance with the voting process or simply have questions about the voter id laws be sure to call 1-866-MY-VOTE-1 and get answers now!