Ohio has been one of the states fighting against the way they are stripping away the early voting process.
By JAMES W. WADE III
Rev. Al Sharpton, president of National Action Network (NAN), came to Cleveland to speak about the need to vote and to rally supporters to register to vote. Joining Sharpton was U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, Pastor Michael A. Walrond Jr., from Harlem, NY, who is the head of NAN’s Minister’s Initiative, and Rev. Otis Moss Jr., a child of the Civil Rights Movement who marched with his good friend the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
NAN’s voter engagement tour is being led by Walrond in conjunction with Education for a Better America. The day-long program began with a luncheon where clergy members focused on creating an infrastructure in each city to continue voter education and protection.
Teaming up with Education for a Better America, during the latter part of the afternoon, the group focused on informing the voting public and engagement of volunteers about new and existing laws that will impact them in their respective communities.
Sharpton and the NAN tour have been encouraging the importance of voting.
Sharpton, while at the luncheon, spoke a little about presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s running mate Paul Ryan.
“I think that Paul Ryan represents a budget that is anti-senior. I think it will appeal to the right wing of the Republican Party,” said Sharpton.
Sharpton fired up the room, sharing facts that included the importance of voting. “When about 5 million Americans may be disenfranchised from the polls this November, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, it is very clear how much we understand that complacency is not an option,” he said.
Later that evening, Sharpton served as the keynote speaker and spoke to an overflow crowd at Greater Abyssinia, where he continued to speak out about voter’s rights.
“He was great, the way he had the crowd engaged about what they are trying to do in Ohio pertaining to the voting hours,” said Marcia McCoy, president of Cleveland chapter of NAN, about Sharpton.
“From now until Election Day, NAN’s goal is to educate and empower the electorate on how to combat these restrictive new voter requirements and ultimately protect voter rights. NAN will tour many of the states and cities impacted by these new draconian laws and align efforts with the local community,” Walrond shared.
“NAN’s mission is to work to ensure that every vote in every community across the nation is counted. Voter suppression efforts are threatening the notion of democracy as we know it,” said Sharpton.
Ohiohas been one of the states fighting against the way they are stripping away the early voting process. “They know exactly what they are doing, it is clear,” said Sharpton. Using his show on MSNBC, Sharpton has been able to voice his concerns for voting rights.
It was so bad that it had President Obama’s campaign file a suit against the state ofOhioover the new rules for early voting designed to benefit members of the military, saying the extra hours should be available to all voters.
That lawsuit prompted claims by Mitt Romney and his aides that the Obama campaign is targeting military voters, a false claim that Obama’s team quickly responded to.