DCCC Chairman Steve Israel announced a major Voter ID education initiative to be headed by House Assistant Leader Jim Clyburn (D-SC).
“The DCCC will be announcing a major voter protection initiative headed by Jim Clyburn that will deal with legal, public relations and related strategies to make sure every American who has the right to vote is able to vote,” Chairman Israel said.
“If the Democrats have one scintilla of a chance of either taking the House back or keeping the Senate or retaining the Presidency we have to be as aggressive as possible to resist any of these efforts to restrict voter participation. It takes on various positions on various states but the net result is the same. Fewer people will come out if Voter ID and these restrictive measures are implemented,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) regarding the Clyburn initiative.
“I lose sleep over voter suppression. I loose sleep over the fact that the Republicans have said, and that they are embarked, in a strategy that will deny milllions the right to vote,” DCCC Chair Israel added.
In addition to the DCCC efforts, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) will be working with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) on a voter education and anti-suppression initiative.
“Every American should be ashamed at what’s going on in this country,” said CBC Chairman Emanuel Cleaver yesterday during a press conference on Voter ID issues.
“We’ve come a long way [in this country]. And what are we doing now? We are revisiting that horrible period in the history of this country,” Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair Charles Gonzalez said regarding voter ID laws.
“What this law will do is disenfranchise a certain segment of our community in Texas. Need I tell you what that segment may be? It’s going to be the elderly, it’s gonna be the minorities of course,” Gonzalez added referring to the new Voter ID law in Texas.
In a meeting in the Capitol on Wednesday, Nov. 2, House Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schulz and eleven members of the Congressional Black Caucus met along with Gonzalez for a status report on all the state laws around the country and possible involvement in the issue by the NAACP. Rep. Keith Ellison, who has offered two pieces of legislation to counter the voter ID laws, said that joint strategy involving all caucuses was already underway.
Hoyer announced that a letter signed by 196 House Democrats urged all 50 Secretaries of State around the country to protect voting rights.
“Voting hours, voting sites, identification requirements, voter registration regulation and access to mail ballots should not be used as weapons to achieve a preferred electoral outcome,” the letter read.
At that announcement Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) said voting was, “the most powerful nonviolent tool we have in a democratic society. We must continue to speak up and speak out to protect this simple constitutional right.”
More details on both initiatives should be formally announced within three weeks.