Project Vote is proud to announce the launch of the Nonprofit Partners Initiative. Project Vote will now offer free, in-person trainings to nonprofit frontline staff and support service-provider organizations such as food banks, community centers, and housing programs in bringing voter registration to their communities.
Many nonprofits work with communities that face significant barriers in registering to vote and voting. Service organizations can assist and encourage those communities to participate in today’s democracy in a way few other organizations can. In turn, through voter registration, nonprofits provide an additional service to their communities, build a base of supporters, and strengthen their voice in state advocacy.
This month, as part of the launch of the program, Project Vote organizers traveled to Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Arizona.
President Obama has said that Dr. King led our country on a salvation path for the oppressed as well as the oppressor. I love this statement because it highlights Dr. King’s vision that the political is the personal. Just as relationships between individuals can only work if they’re based on mutual respect, our democracy can function only if its laws advance— not thwart—each person’s dignity and right to political expression.
North Carolina’s harsh voter identification law, the Voter Information Verification Act, has met strong resistance since it passed in 2013. As the Act nears its 2016 implementation, the state Board of Elections recently released its proposed set of specific rules for administering the ID requirement, followed by nine hearings across the state for the purpose of soliciting public comment on the rules.
Many North Carolinians used the hearings as an outlet to express their concerns about the law’s potential to disenfranchise voters, and in a triumph for the democratic process, the legislature has now responded with a bill to help ease some (though not all) of the law’s harshness.
The 2013 Voter Information Verification Act requires, in part, that voters present an approved form of photo ID in order to vote. The law states that the photo must bear a “reasonable resemblance” to the voter, but stops short of specifying what “reasonable resemblance” means. The proposed rules released by the Board of Elections include specific guidance on the “reasonable resemblance” requirement, including the instruction that perceived differences in weight, hair style, facial hair, complexion, disability, and other characteristics may not be grounds for finding a lack of resemblance.