The following statement is from Nancy Abudu, Deputy Legal Director for the Southern Poverty Law Center. We Vote! Mississippi is a $450,000 voter registration and mobilization project that began last week and will continue until November 2019.
“We can achieve a more inclusive and equitable future for the Deep South if we organize, mobilize, and marshal our resources to increase participation in spite of suppression efforts that threaten our democracy. On National Voter Registration Day, especially, we want to lift up the work of countless activists throughout the South and we urge every eligible voter to check their registration status and register to vote or update their registration with current information. To shift the politics of the South to be more open, compassionate, and progressive will require communities targeted by voter suppression efforts to register and exercise their right to vote.
“The SPLC is fighting be a part of a shift in Southern politics and empower historically disenfranchised communities in Mississippi through our new We Vote! Mississippi project. The SPLC is raising awareness of the stakes of the statewide elections in November for historically marginalized communities, communities of color, and new voters in Hinds and Washington counties, and on multiple campuses of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Mississippians have until October 7th to register to vote.
“We Vote! Mississippi is part of the SPLC’s growing effort to expand its advocacy in the Deep South," Abudu said. "In addition to litigation and its work in state legislatures, as the 2020 election cycle nears, the SPLC will mobilize historically disenfranchised communities and work to eliminate barriers to voting across the South. The SPLC already invested roughly $250,000 this year ahead of the state elections in Louisiana to register voters who are newly re-enfranchised and transient voters that historically drop off in gubernatorial election years. In 2018, the SPLC funded a $1.3 million campaign in Florida to inform and motivate voters ahead of an election that determined numerous amendments and revisions to the state’s constitution, including Amendment 4, which originally granted roughly 1.4 million Floridians with a prior felony conviction the right to vote.”