CBCF to Examine Voting Rights, New-Age Discrimination

8/7/2012, 1:41 p.m.

Town Hall Meeting to Focus on Serious Challenges Facing Voters

During a Sept. 20 town hall meeting at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in D.C., the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) will examine the issues of voting rights and new-age discrimination. The meeting, which runs from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., will serve as the centerpiece of the Foundation's 42nd Annual Legislative Conference, scheduled for Sept. 19-22, in the nation's capital.

More than 20 states have changed their requirements for voting, which can affect a disproportionate number of African Americans, the disabled and low income communities. The Foundation will bring together experts, the community and academia to discuss how the new laws passed by several states have made it more difficult to vote. The panel will include:

Panel Moderator - Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry, MSNBC TV Host of the Melissa Harris-Perry Show; Tulane Professor of Political Science

Reps. John Lewis (Ga); Mel Watt (NC); and Marcia Fudge (Ohio) - CBC leads for anti-voter repression campaign

Donna Brazile - DNC Vice Chair of Voter Registration and Participation; Democratic political strategist CNN

Dr. Marc Lamont Hill - CNN Commentator, Host of Our World Black Enterprise; Columbia Professor of Education

Crystal Wright - Conservative Columnist; political commentator

Ron Christie - Founder/President of Christie Strategies; Republican Political Strategist

"Millions of voters will be facing serious challenges as the result of the restrictive voting laws put in place across the country. Panelists discuss the implications of the new measures and offer strategies for ensuring that all have a fair and just opportunity to cast their vote in November," said Menna Demessie, Ph.D., senior research and policy analyst for CBCF.

In addition, the Foundation will distribute a voter guide tool kit on flash drives. These drives will include information on voter registration and identification laws in each state, the latest developments regarding voter identification legislation and opportunities for civic engagement to repeal the voter identification laws. The toolkit will also be available on CBCF's web site - www.cbcfinc.org after Sept. 20.

"We want people to be prepared before the election. It is too important an issue to be left to chance," said Dr. Demissie. "This tool kit is a step-by-step instruction guide to ensure voters are properly registered and ready to vote."