Tag Archives: NAACP

United Resistance: Progressive groups launch protest as confirmation hearings take place

More than 50 progressive organizations sent a message of united resistance to Donald Trump’s administration as the U.S. Senate began confirmation hearings on Capitol Hill.

Movement leaders, including NAACP president Cornell Brooks, Greenpeace USA executive director Annie Leonard and SEIU International president Mary Kay Henry pledged to defend against threats to civil rights, immigrant rights, women’s reproductive rights, social equality, action on climate change, public health and safety, public dissent and access to information.

In the United Resistance campaign, groups are pledging to work together across issues. More than 50 organizations have signed onto the pledge.

United Resistance campaigners

Advancement Project (National), Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Brave New Films, Center for Biological Diversity, Climate Justice Alliance, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, Color Of Change, Common Cause, Communications Workers of America, Daily Kos, Democracy Initiative, Demos, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Every Voice, Food & Water Action Fund, Forward Together, Free Press, Friends of the Earth, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Green For All, Greenpeace, Inc, Indigenous Environmental Network, Jewish Voice for Peace, Jobs With Justice, Labor Network for Sustainability, MoveOn.org, NAACP, NARAL, National Domestic Workers Alliance, National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund, National Network for Arab American Communities, Oakland Institute, Oil Change International, OneAmerica, One Billion Rising, Our Revolution, People’s Action, People For the American Way, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Public Citizen, Rainforest Action Network, Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United, RootsAction.org, Sierra Club, The Story of Stuff Project, United We Dream, Working Families Party, World Beyond War, V-Day, 350.org.

For the record

With just over a week before Inauguration Day and the Senate hearings underway on Donald Trump’s choices for top posts, leaders of progressive organizers are speaking out on threats posed by the incoming administration and vowing resistance.

“Trump is not on the side of the American people. After promises of “draining the swamp, his cabinet is now full of more billionaire lobbyists and executives than any administration in history. This president will never know what it feels like to worry about the water his family is drinking, to wonder if his house will survive the next superstorm, or if his child will face hateful bullying at school. It is up to each one of us to protect each other, to fight for each other, and to resist the ways in which Donald Trump threatens America.” — Greenpeace USA executive director Annie Leonard

 

“Our movement to advance the fundamental values of justice and democracy, for the empowerment of immigrant and refugee communities, for Muslims and other religious minorities in the United States is ready to protect our families, to assert our presence, and to challenge our nation to live up to its values as a nation built by immigration.  I’m heartened by the energy to resist in our own communities, and by the broad coalition of movements coming together to stand and defend each other, whatever the Trump Administration throws at us.  At stake is a vision for our nation and world grounded in racial and social justice, committed to improving the lives of every American, and realizing a healthy and diverse future where everyone can thrive.  We stand with our sisters and brothers in the intersections of racial, economic and climate justice.” — Rich Stolz, executive director, OneAmerica

 

“Solidarity forever must include solidarity now — intensive, sustained and determined to defend past gains as well as make future ones possible. Everything that we hold dear is at stake.” — Norman Solomon, coordinator, RootsAction.org

 

“Green For All stands against Trump’s effort to auction off our air, water and climate to the highest bidder. We resist efforts to prioritize profit over human life and stand with frontline communities, those in small towns and urban areas who face the brunt of pollution, to fight for climate solutions that put them first. We will fight alongside the underdogs, those most ignored, to ensure that their voices are heard because we all deserve clean air, clean water and a healthy environment to raise our kids.” — Vien Truong, director of Green For All 

 

“The corporate cartel that works to wage wars, pollute the planet, concentrate the wealth, and restrict the rights of dissenters finds a way to all work together. Those of us seeking a better world — a sustainable world at all — must work together to resist the path the U.S. government is on and to project and push forward a better one. Our collective numbers give us power, and our interlocking issues give us a persuasive alternative. Shifting military spending to human and environmental needs makes a world beyond our dreams perfectly achievable.”  — David Swanson, director of World Beyond War

 

“The Sierra Club’s mission is to protect both the natural and the human environment. That is why we stand in solidarity with organizations fighting for a fair and safe America that protects everyone. We stand with workers and working families, for women’s rights and LGBTQ rights, with people of all faiths and backgrounds, for public health and economic fairness, and on the side of racial justice and immigrant families. To change everything it takes everyone, and that’s exactly why we’re going to stand up together over the next four years and fight to protect the people and places that we love.” — Michael Brune, Sierra Club executive director 

 

“Trump’s presidency represents an existential threat to an open internet and an adversarial press. Based on its appointments and actions so far, the Trump administration appears committed to undermining everyone’s rights to connect and communicate. We’re dedicated to fighting Trump’s agenda on media and technology while supporting the resistance efforts of groups doing important work elsewhere. Trump has named numerous people to his administration and transition team with long histories of support for dangerous and often racist policies and actions. Many others have openly campaigned to gut essential public safeguards in every area from worker safety to the environment to telecommunications. All must be resisted from day one.” — Free Press CEO and president Craig Aaron

 

“The Trump administration promises to roll back our environmental laws, gut civil rights protections, and enrich the pockets of Wall Street at the expense of everyone else. We can’t let this happen—and together, we can resist the worst effects of his presidency. We’ll keep the pressure on our elected officials to represent the majority of Americans that want safe food, clean water, a stable climate, and a democracy that works for all of us.” — Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Action Fund

 

“As the chief law enforcement officer, the attorney generally has far-reaching decision making power over issues that impact every person in the U.S. If appointed, Jeff Sessions will be the final decision maker on if the FBI can profile Muslim members of our community, whether or not to sanction stop and frisk policies, oversight of our prisons, the Department of Justice and drug enforcement. He has a track record of disregarding civil rights, denying racism, and promoting a radical agenda that would undo many of the laws that have given voice to communities of color historically shut out of our democracy. His values don’t reflect an America where all people can thrive and we are united in opposition to his nomination.” —  Kalpana Krishnamurthy, policy Director at Forward Together, a national advocacy organization.

“The blueprint for failure is division and ambivalence in the wake of a united conservative agenda that is intentionally undermining our democracy and threatening our communities. Our power to resist and reclaim our democracy is rooted in our shared commitment to dismantling interwoven systems of oppression. We are putting the new administration on notice: every day of the next four years, be prepared to confront powerful organized communities who refuse to be silenced.” — Judith Browne Dianis, executive director of Advancement Project’s national office

“At Rainforest Action Network, we stand for people and planet. But today, we need to stand firmly in opposition to a systemic assault on our values from the incoming administration. We are pledging to oppose those who would deny science and deny climate change. We are pledging to oppose those who would gut environmental protections in the name of corporate profits. We are pledging to stand for civil rights, to stand for human and labor rights, and to stand with those directly impacted by global forest destruction and climate change.” — Lindsey Allen, executive director, Rainforest Action Network

 

“We have witnessed one of the most contentious and emotional political races in our country’s history. What we have learned is that, now, more than ever, we need to come together to uphold our shared values of freedom and equality for all. Arab and Muslim Americans have long dealt with xenophobia, Islamophobia, racism and bigotry. Throughout the presidential election, we were faced with many unprecedented obstacles, and yet we persevered and remained committed to improving and empowering our communities. We know we must maintain our spirit of advocacy and become stronger leaders for a more hopeful future.” — Nadia El-Zein Tonova, director of the National Network for Arab American Communities 

 

“America is great when it becomes more inclusive, more democratic and more just. The Trump administration threatens these values, and democracy itself. Against this threat, We the People will protect our democracy and the values we most cherish by exercising our democratic rights. We will stand together to reject efforts to denigrate, injure or exclude Muslim Americans, immigrants or any other targeted community. We will reject Trumpism and assert the central importance of love and solidarity, kindness and decency to who we are a country and a people.” — Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen

 

“Donald Trump is a dangerous narcissist. We need to block his agenda of greed and division, and and we need to stand together to do it. That’s the only hope for building a nation that works for all of us.” — Dan Cantor, national director, Working Families Party:

 

“Trump’s presidency threatens immigrants, African Americans, Muslims, workers, women, children, the elderly, the disabled, LGBTQ people, and many others. Indeed, it threatens all that holds us together as a society. We the people — society — need to defend ourselves against this threat and bring it to an end. Resisters to repressive regimes elsewhere have called such resistance to tyranny “Social Self-Defense.” The struggle to protect our people and planet against the Trump agenda requires such a strategy. Therefore we are proud to join the United Resistance Campaign as a form of Social Self Defense.” — Michael Leon Guerrero, Labor Network for Sustainability 

 

“If Trump thinks this wave of opposition and resistance will burn out quickly and die, he’s dead wrong. We’ll be there every day, every week and every year to oppose every policy that hurts wildlife; poisons our air or water; destroys the climate; promotes racism, misogyny or homophobia; and marginalizes entire segments of our society.” — Kieran Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity

 

“We live in a global world where our lives are intertwined. An act of hate against one is an act of hate against all. So we stand here united with all voices of peace, tolerance, racial equity, and justice. We gain our unity from the diversity of our religions, of our sexual preferences, women’s rights, and of our racial diversity. We allege to speak for all who are voiceless, marginalized, and criminalized. We are one force, united together for the betterment of humanity.” — Anuradha Mittal, Oakland Institute executive director 

 

“It’s time to get back to the basics: everyday people with a plan, through everyday acts of courage, will eventually make history.” — Ai-jen Poo, director, National Domestic Workers Alliance

On the web

Spread the resistance, join the resistance.

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NAACP: Block Sessions for attorney general

NAACP president and CEO Cornell William Brooks issued the following statement opposing the nomination of U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions as attorney general:

America yet stands at the beginning of presidential administration but also in the middle of a Twitter age civil rights movement based on old divisions.

U.S. Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions is among the worst possible nominees for attorney general amid some of the worst times for civil rights in recent memory.

Following a divisive presidential campaign, hate crimes rising, police videos sickening the stomach while quickening the conscience, protesters marching in the streets and politicians mouthing the myth of voter fraud while denying the reality of voter suppression, Senator Sessions is precisely the wrong man to lead the Justice Department.

The NAACP, as the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization, opposes the nomination of Senator Sessions to become U.S. attorney general for the following reasons:

• a record on voting rights that is unreliable at best and hostile at worse;

• a failing record on other civil rights;

• a record of racially offensive remarks and behavior;

• and dismal record on criminal justice reform issues.

Voting Rights

Senator Sessions supported the re-authorization of the 1965 Voting Rights Act in 2006, but called the bill “a piece of intrusive legislation” just months earlier. Sessions has consistently voted in favor of strict voter ID laws that place extra burdens on the poor and residents of color, and drive voter suppression across the country. When the Supreme Court struck down federal protections in 2012 that prevented thousands of discriminatory state laws from taking effect since 1965, Sessions declared it was “a good thing for the South.” As a prosecutor in 1985, Sessions maliciously prosecuted a former aide to Martin Luther King for helping senior citizens file absentee ballots in Alabama.

Rather than enforcing voting rights protections, Senator Sessions has instead made a career of seeking to dismantle them. When Shelby County v. Holder gutted the protections of the VRA, Senator Sessions cheered. For decades, he has pursued the rare and mystical unicorn of voter fraud, while turning a blind eye to the ever-growing issue of voter suppression.

While Senator Sessions’ historical record on civil rights remains one of dismay, it is his unrepentant stance against the vote that remains our issue. The threat of voter suppression is not a historical but current challenge. At least 10 times in the past 10 months, the NAACP defended voting rights against coordinated campaigns by legislators targeting African-American voters in Texas, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and many other states.

While the NAACP could gain the assistance of the Justice Department in fighting back against voter suppression, a Sessions-led DOJ would likely lead to the exact opposite.During the height of the Civil Rights Movement, then-Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach’s commitment to democracy allowed him to help write the VRA. Today, our nation stands on the verge of selecting an AG who has never shown the slightest commitment to enforcing the protections Katzenbach and others wrote into law. 

How can our communities who have born the both historical and current brunt of the attacks on the right to vote, sit idly by while an enemy to the vote is now given the responsibility of enforcing this right? The simple answer is that we can’t. 

Other Civil Rights

Since 1997, Senator Sessions has received an F every year on the NAACP’s federal legislative civil rights report cards. He’s voted against our policy positions nearly 90 percent of the time. Senator Sessions has repeatedly supported lawsuits and attempts to overturn desegregation while shamelessly voting against federal Hate Crime legislation four times from 2000 to 2009.

Notwithstanding, he has also repeatedly voted against the Violence Against Women Act that expanded protection for victims of domestic violence and repeatedly stood on the wrong side of immigration and LGBT issues.

Racial Insensitivity

During his failed 1986 federal judgeship hearing, four DOJ attorneys and colleagues of Senator Sessions testified that he made several racist statements. J. Gerald Hebert testified that Sessions had referred to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) as “un-American” and “Communist inspired” because they “forced civil rights down the throats of people.

Additional accusations of racist behavior were attributed to Senator Sessions by Thomas Figures, an African American Assistant U.S. Attorney, who testified that Sessions said he thought the Ku Klux Klan was “OK until I found out they smoked pot.” Sessions later said that the comment was not serious, but did apologize for it. Mr. Figures also testified that on one occasion, Senator Session railed against civil rights cases, threw a file on the table and called him the derogatory racist term “boy,” and later advised Figures to watch what he said to white people.

Criminal Justice Reform

In a time of expanding protests against the scourge of police brutality, Senator Sessions stands on opposite ground. He has repeated stood against the consent decree, a main tool of the DOJ to reel in racist and unaccountable police departments. In a report by the Alabama Policy Institute, Senator Sessions called consent decrees: “One of the most dangerous, and rarely discussed, exercises of raw power is the issuance of expansive court decrees. Consent decrees have a profound effect on our legal system as they constitute an end run around the democratic process.”

While under the administration of President Barack Obama, the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division made investigating police departments charged with racism and police brutality a key focus by intervening in high-profile cases in Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore, Maryland to impose consent decrees and reforms to correct misbehavior and the violation of citizen’s civil rights.

Senator Sessions would become the Attorney General under a president who supports nationalizing the racist and disproven “stop and frisk,” strategy. Both Sessions and the incoming president are supporters of the DOD 1033 program which allows police department’s access to surplus military equipment including tanks, armored vehicles, grenade launchers and more. He also opposes the removal of mandatory minimum sentences and blocked efforts to reduce nonviolent drug sentencing despite wide bi-partisan support for doing so. If not enough, Senator Sessions has repeatedly voted against safe, sane, and sensible measures to stem the tide of gun violence.

Given that these are issues our nation the attorney general is sworn to protect and enforce his nomination represents an ongoing and dangerous threat to our civicbirthrights –particularly, and the right to vote.

We call upon the Senate to reject Sessions and for President-elect Donald J. Trump to replace Sessions with a nominee with a record of inclusion and commitment to protecting the civil rights of the American majority.

The NAACP does not believe that an election where the incoming president lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes represents a mandate to overhaul the America of the Majority. The vote remains the most important resource in making democracy real for all people.

As we have since 1909, the NAACP will continue to stand against Senator Sessions and any attempts to unravel the progress earned through the blood, sweat and tears of our people to enjoy the same rights under law as all Americans.”

Founded Feb. 12. 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest, largest and most widely recognized grassroots–based civil rights organization. Its more than half-million members and supporters throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

Trump silent after co-chair wishes death on Obama, says 1st lady is male

Carl Paladino, who co-chaired president-elect Donald Trump’s New York campaign, confirmed telling an alternative newspaper that he hoped President Barack Obama would die from mad cow disease and that the first lady would “return to being a male.”

A millionaire real estate developer who unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2010 as a Republican, Paladino made the comments in response to a survey by Artvoice, a Buffalo publication that asked local artists, performers and business owners for their New Year’s wish list.

Asked what he would most like to happen in 2017, Paladino responded that he hoped “Obama catches mad cow disease after being caught having relations” with a cow, dies and is buried in a cow pasture.

Asked who he would like to see “go away,” he said Michelle Obama.

“I’d like her to return to being a male and let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe where she lives comfortably in a cave with Maxie, the gorilla,” he wrote.

Reached at his western New York office by phone, Paladino, a member of the Buffalo school board, confirmed to the AP the answers published in Artvoice were his.

In a subsequent emailed statement, Paladino, 70, claimed his comments had “nothing to do with race” but instead reflected his opinion of the president’s performance in office.

“Merry Christmas and tough luck if you don’t like my answer,” he wrote.

As recently as August, Paladino falsely claimed Obama was not Christian, telling the New York Observer that to average Americans, “there is no doubt he is a Muslim.”

And in 2010, Paladino was criticized after it was revealed he had forwarded to friends racially charged emails that depicted Obama as a pimp.

A spokeswoman for Trump, who earlier this month met with Paladino in Trump Tower, didn’t immediately respond when asked for the president-elect’s reaction to the comments.
But Democrats and civil rights groups were quick to condemn them.

In a statement, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the remarks by his former gubernatorial opponent, “racist, ugly and reprehensible.”

“While most New Yorkers know Mr. Paladino is not to be taken seriously, as his erratic behavior defies any rational analysis and he has no credibility, his words are still jarring,” he said.
Frank Mesiah, the outgoing president of the NAACP’s Buffalo chapter, urged other politicians to publicly denounce Paladino.

“He says this stuff without anybody countering him,” he said. “By their silence, to me, they’re condoning that. They’re accepting him and his behavior.”

The White House had no immediate comment.

Jake Pearson also contributed to this report from New York.

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NAACP: The use of the n-word at White House Correspondents’ Dinner

Cornell William Brooks is president and CEO of the NAACP. He issued the following  about remarks made at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on April 30 in Washington, D.C.

On The Nightly Show and in many other programs, Larry Wilmore is a thoughtful and courageous comedian who consistently makes us laugh by confronting the ugly contradictions we see in our government, media, and society.

I assume that Mr. Wilmore was sincere in humorously criticizing, commending and mocking the president during the dinner. Context, like race, matters.  The n-word has a long history of hate. It doesn’t matter whether the people listening are wearing tuxedos and gowns, the racist ugliness of it cannot be forgotten. Many in the audience clearly believed he had crossed a line in his final remarks.

In this election year, we have consistently reminded candidates that the words they choose have meaning and consequence. Even a seemingly “friendly” form of the n-word ending in “ga” rather than “ger” insults many in our nation even when meant to compliment our president.

While it may be common to use the n-word as a racial obscenity for effect with a crowd in a night club or among acquaintances in a locker room or a rhyme in a song, the n-word, as racist profanity, should not be in the same sentence or the same room as the President of the United States.

The fact that President Barack Obama is the first African-American to hold the highest office in this country should not be a license for undue racial familiarity or racialized disrespect.

For many years now, the NAACP has maintained that the n-word does nothing to foster real and meaningful conversations our country needs to have about race, class, segregation and tolerance in our nation and we are, once again, sadly disappointed by its perpetuation in our national dialogue. With a vocabulary of America’s aspirations, the NAACP strives for a day when the n-word refers to a ‘nation’ indivisible by race, class, color, creed or slurs.

On the Web…
At the dinner.

Founded Feb. 12. 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest, largest and most widely recognized grassroots–based civil rights organization. Its more than half-million members and supporters throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

 

Common Cause calls for public action to stop Republicans’ latest voter-suppression bill

On Feb. 9, the Wisconsin Senate passed, along partisan lines, hyper-partisan legislation — Senate Bill 295 — which eliminates the ability of organizations like the League of Women Voters, the NAACP, Voces de la Frontera and even city and municipal clerks to be able to conduct effective voter registration drives. The measure also stipulates that mailed absentee ballots not received by Election Day will not be counted. Currently, absentee ballots that have a postmark on Election Day are counted. So that means thousands of absentee ballots will be disqualified! 

While SB 295 does provide for some online voter registration — a positive thing — the obvious hyper-partisan voter suppression provisions (added in secret and without a public hearing) render this legislation utterly unsupportable. Both state Senator Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg), the primary author of this abomination, and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau,) were both incapable of being able to defend the legislation during the floor debate last week and simply called for partisan votes to defeat Democratic amendments that would have improved the bill. A number of Democratic state senators were outstanding in their determined assault on this measure: Julie Lassa of Stevens Point, Tim Carpenter of Milwaukee, Mark Miller of Monona, Jon Erpenbach of Middleton, Fred Risser of Madison, Chris Larson of Milwaukee, Janet Bewley of Ashland and Dave Hansen of Green Bay. 

The Assembly is scheduled to vote on Senate Bill 295 tomorrow, Tuesday — Feb. 16 — and it is vitally important that you contact your State Representatives and inform them of your opposition to this legislation in its current form. One critical reason to do so is to build the public record in opposition to this and other anti-democratic legislation, as was done last fall when the GOP destroyed the non-partisan Government Accountability Board and transformed Wisconsin’s campaign finance laws into among the very weakest and most susceptible to corruption in the nation. Real citizens do not support this stuff — special interest-controlled politicians do. If you do not know who your state representative is, go here.

To find out more about this measure and why CC/WI does not support it — and why you need to oppose it, too, go here, here, here, here and here.  

Voter ID challenges continue, but take yours to the polls

“Bring it to the ballot,” Wisconsin election officials are telling voters, reminding them of the mandate instituted on Gov. Scott Walker’s watch to present photo IDs at the polls this spring.

Meanwhile, opponents continue to bring challenges to the measures enacted in multiple states as part of a right-wing campaign to restrict access to the ballot box.

The highest-profile challenge is being waged in North Carolina, where a six-day trial ended on Feb. 1 and a federal judge’s decision may not arrive before early voting begins on March 3 for the March 15 primary.

The legal battle in North Carolina involves multiple lawsuits brought by the NAACP, the U.S. Justice Department, the Advancement Project and others challenging the state’s photo ID mandate for voters as a violation of the Voting Rights Act and the 14th and 15th amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

Lawyers argued during the trial that more than 220,000 registered voters in North Carolina lack a qualifying ID and that black voters are more than twice as likely as white voters to lack one of the required ID cards. 

Justice Department attorney Catherine Meza argued the GOP lawmakers advanced the legislation in 2013 knowing many black voters lacked ID cards, a sign of intentional discrimination in violation of the Voting Rights Act.

Witnesses testified to the hardships and complications they faced in applying for photo ID cards, including Rosanell Eaton, a plaintiff in the case. The 94-year-old voter told the court she made 10 trips to state offices, driving more than 200 miles, in an effort to get a photo ID card. She was caught in a bureaucratic mess because of disparities in how her name is spelled on various documents.

“The photo ID provision is part of a calculated strategy to limit the political participation of voters of color,” said Penda D. Hair of the Advancement Project. “It is Jim Crow disrobed.”

More than 30 states have adopted photo ID requirements for voters, passing legislation drafted, promoted and sponsored by members of the business-beholden American Legislative Exchange Council.

In North Carolina, and also Wisconsin, GOP lawmakers have instituted a range of other measures intended to limit voting opportunities, including reducing access to early voting.

These lawmakers claim their intent is to reduce voter fraud.

But the record shows such fraud is rare.

“Even if you were motivated to influence the outcome of an election, voter impersonation is not a rational, reasonable thing for someone to do,” said Lorraine Minnite, a professor of political science at Rutgers University-Camden and a witness in the North Carolina case. “Attempting to commit voter fraud in front of poll workers, whose job it is to detect fraud, is like attempting to pickpocket a police officer.”

Wisconsin’s photo ID law also was challenged in federal court. An appeals court upheld the 2011 law and last March the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case, ending that legal fight.

The High Court’s decision prompted advocacy groups and the state elections agency to educate voters about the mandate.

In early February, the state Government Accountability Board re-launched the “Bring It to the Ballot” campaign.

“Voter ID is back and voters need to be prepared to bring their IDs to the polling place,” Kevin Kennedy, the state’s chief election official, stated in a news release. “The campaign’s message is that most people already have the ID they need to vote. If they don’t have one, they can get a free ID for voting at the DMV, even if they don’t have some documents, like a birth certificate.”

GAB spent about $700,000 on a photo ID campaign in 2011–12 — when the statute was on hold pending the legal challenge — but legislators didn’t budget for a campaign this year, even though the law will be applied for the first time in statewide voting.