Voter turnout will be critical to Democrats and Republicans in the 2016 election.
Rev. William Barber, President of the North Carolina branch of the NAACP, spoke with Roland Martin during Thursday morning’s edition of NewsOne Now about the massive effort to drive African-Americans to the polls to take part in early voting and cast their ballots on Election Day.
Barber shared, with the help of Martin and NewsOne Now’s consistent message encouraging our community to vote, that voting initiatives on HBCU campuses have been a “tremendous” success.
Barber reminded viewers of the GOP’s attempt to restrict access to the polls, saying, “The Republican Party sent a memo to the local board of elections telling them to implement policies that reflect the Republican values.”
In Greensboro, North Carolina, there were over 12 early voting locations, but now as a result of Republican policies, only two may be active. Barber said, “The one on [North Carolina] A&T’s campus was taken off, the one at North Carolina Central‘s campus was taken off, but the students say they’re not going to let anything turn us around and they’ve been marching to the polls and lighting up social media.”
On Friday, an early voting location will be opened on the campus of North Carolina Central and students will have “a massive march to the polls, because people can register and vote on the same day and they do not need their photo ID.”
Rev. Barber called North Carolina this generation’s Selma as a result of the “worst voter suppression since Jim Crow” and referenced the “surgical” precision in the way Republicans in the state have worked to disenfranchise minority voters.
The head of the North Carolina NAACP and leader of the Moral Monday movement said on Friday he will take part in a press conference because voting rights proponents in the state may head back to court. Barber said, “We’ve demanded the state board of elections open up early voting sites, particularly down east in eastern North Carolina where we’ve had 38 counties hit by the floods.”
Rev. Barber later said Republicans have “done everything they could to suppress the vote, but people are still standing in line two and three hours” just to cast their ballots.
Watch Roland Martin and Dr. William Barber discuss the ongoing efforts to mobilize voters in North Carolina in the video clip above.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty