Magazine article The Crisis

NAACP Readies for 2006 Elections

Magazine article The Crisis

NAACP Readies for 2006 Elections

Article excerpt

With a little more than two years before the 2008 Presidential Election, NAACP branches all over the nation are gearing up for 2006 - mobilizing voters for a round of elections that some hope will set the stage for a favorable political climate in the years ahead.

John Jackson, chief policy officer at the NAACP, has cited voter turnout and protection of voter rights as two of the NAACP's top priorities for this year's elections.

"Our focus is on increasing voter turnout in the African American community, specifically for those in the 18-30 age range," Jackson says. "That population has a significant voice and needs to be felt and heard in November. In addition, in 2006 we have specific interest in ensuring that voter rights in the Gulf region are protected."

Throughout the year, the NAACP will hold voter registration trainings all over the country in order to register voters and ensure that they know how to use the voting machines. In terms of increasing voter turnout, Jackson states that the campaign is nationwide, although it is concentrated in states with large minority populations.

"There's a general campaign across the nation," Jackson states. "We really don't get into the business of endorsing candidates. But in general, we support candidates that align with our policy agenda. This would include candidates with an equitable plan for rebuilding the Gulf region, those who support bringing home the troops, candidates who support placing a moratorium on the death penalty, candidates who are actively addressing issues of the economic divide, as well as education and health disparities."

However, Jackson says, the voter campaign will target specific states where the NAACP believes it will be able to make an impact, including Florida, Ohio, Michigan, Louisiana, Texas, Georgia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Mississippi.

"Those are states with large minority populations and when we talk about achieving higher voter turnout, those are the states that have the most promise," says Jackson. …

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