Delegates Endorse March and Rally to Commemorate 40th Anniversary of Voting Rights Act

NAACP supports Rainbow Push Coalition of Conscience demonstration in Atlanta

Milwaukee ? NAACP delegates to the 96th Annual Convention voiced rousing support today for the Rainbow Push Coalition of Conscience march and rally on August 6 in Atlanta to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act and to mobilize for support of the Act's extension.

"Anyone who claims that voting rights for minority Americans are now secure need only look to Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004," said NAACP Board Chairman Julian Bond. "A recent report said that 28 percent of all Ohio voters and 52 percent of black voters said they experienced problems in voting. And a dismal 19 percent of black voters expressed confidence that their votes were properly counted."

The NAACP plans to roll out an aggressive, grassroots national campaign to support the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act, including state and local hearings to develop a full and factual record of voting rights violations.

The Voting Rights Act is credited with increasing minority participation in the political process and empowering minority communities to elect thousands of African American candidates to local, state and federal office. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Act into law in 1965. It is designed to prevent voting impediments such as: intimidation, voter harassment, the poll tax, language barriers, literacy tests, racial gerrymandering and other tools of disenfranchisement. The Act further guarantees that no federal, state or local government shall in any way impede or discourage people from registering to vote or voting because of their race or color. Portions of the Act are due to expire in 2007.

The NAACP is the United States' oldest and largest civil rights organization, dedicated for 96 years to achieving equality for African-Americans and fighting racial discrimination against anyone. Its half-million members in 2200 local units scattered throughout the 50 states, Europe and the Pacific are the front-line grassroots troops for racial justice in their communities.

CONTACT: NAACP Office of Communications 410.580.5125

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