“The Minnesota Majority advertisement plays into racial stereotypes that have no place in public debate. It reveals how weakly this group believes their own claims that they are trying to battle voter fraud. They know that the myth of voter fraud is nothing but a fraud itself, so they resort to fear and bigotry to make their case,” according to NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous said Friday in response to a troubling advertisement from Minnesota Majority, a self-described election watchdog organization.
The advertisement supports an amendment that would require Minnesota voters to produce photo identification. It features a number of characters outside a voting booth, including an African-American in a prison uniform and a Latino character in mariachi garb. The text reads: “Voter Fraud – watch how easy it is to cheat in Minnesota’s elections.”
“A photo identification law of this nature would not only disenfranchise people of color, but also low-income workers, young voters, elderly and disabled voters. Rather than suppressing the vote, we should focus on making registration simple, accessible and efficient,” Jealous said.
“Minnesota Majority’s campaign is part of a coordinated attack on the right to vote in Minnesota and states across the country. The group has ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council, which has drafted voter suppression legislation introduced in over thirty states. This attack on democracy is unprecedented in scope, cynical in practice, and will be destructively effective if left unchallenged,” he said.
The advertisement can be viewed at: http://action.naacp.org/page/-/VoterIDad.jpg.
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.