Black politicians and church leaders prepare for talks over new voter ID laws
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) will hold a meeting Wednesday afternoon with clergy leaders from Conference of National Black Churches to discuss ideas to combat the wave of new voter ID laws existing around the country.
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) told The State newspaper on Monday about how well prepared the meeting will be to address voters’ concerns over remaining eligible.
“We will have attorneys there who are well-equipped to provide the guidance to the clergy members,” Cleaver said, who is the chairman of the CBC and a United Methodist pastor. “They will understand, before they leave, about some of the new laws in certain states designed – as we interpret them – to reduce the turnout. The day is over when they could just stand in the pulpit and say ‘Go vote. It’s your duty.’”
In 2011, 37 states instituted or introduced new voter suppression measures. Voter ID laws disproportionally affect people of color, according to a Brennan Center study. Recently a 93-year-old Pennsylvania woman, who said she has voted in every election since 1962, has filed suit against such Voter ID measures.
Rev. Dr. Franklyn Richardson, chair of the Conference of National Black Churches and pastor of Grace Baptist Churches in New York and Florida, is also attending the meeting Wednesday.