NAACP Challenges Voter ID law
This week the NAACP will hold its 103rd annual convention and leaders say the group remains focused on ensuring every citizen has the right to cast his or her vote. During the organization’s news conference to open the convention, Al Green the U.S. Representative from Houston, a democrat, explained Houston’s significance as the place where litigation was born that helped make the landmark case Brown vs. the Board of Education and other civil rights victories.
Green spoke about the Smith vs. Allwright suit that was filed by Lonnie Smith in 1994 because white primaries were being held and he was black and was not able to vote. Therefore, Green said it is appropriate that the organization returns to Houston in a year when voter repression is being fought again.
As the civil rights group opens its convention on Monday, officials in Texas will be defending the new voter ID law in the state in a federal courtroom. The officials will argue that the law will help cut down on voter fraud. The NAACP however, contends the ID law will upset the poor and people of color.
A speaker during the convention will be Eric Holder, the U.S. Attorney General, who declared, with the Justice Department, that the law in Texas and other similar measures violated the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Leaders of the convention expressed their disappointment and dismay that U.S. President Obama would not be speaking at the convention. However, Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to speak on Thursday and Mitt Romney will speak on Wednesday.