The NAACP is partnering with Vote.org to register and mobilize black voters ahead of the midterm elections to increase voter turnout and counter new voting restrictions in nearly two dozen states.
The partnership will include training NAACP volunteers in the digital tools offered by Vote.org, a nonpartisan voting platform.
NAACP President Derrick Johnson said voter engagement was ‘essential’ for both the organization and the United States, in light of what he called ‘direct attacks’ against American democracy.
“There will be particular attention in targeted states, as barriers to capital access and efficiency have been high,” Johnson said. “But overall, we want individuals to be involved, engaged. We want to increase the number of people who vote and not allow those who seek to limit access to vote to succeed.
Last year, 19 states passed restrictive voting rules, many of which disproportionately affect voters of color, according to analysis by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law. The analysis also determined that seven states made it easier for election officials to purge voter lists.
The NAACP says it has more than 2 million activists in all 50 states.
“We try to use technology to ensure that underserved voters can have access to the democracy they need and deserve,” said Andrea Hailey, CEO of Vote.org. “When you have a large, high turnout, a lot of people voting, attacks on democracy become less likely to succeed.”
Vote.org staffers will begin training NAACP chapters this month on how to use the site to verify registrations and register to vote, in addition to verifying polling places, requesting mail-in ballots in certain states, and notifying young people to register for vote on their 18th birthday.
Vote.org claims to have helped more than 4.2 million people register to vote in 2020.