Celebrities Urge Black Americans to Vote Early
October 22, 2008<br />
Actress Angela Bassett, “Tonight” show bandleader Kevin Eubanks, and singer/actress Brandy are among the celebrities taking public service ads targeting at black voters, most of whom plan to vote for Democrat Barack Obama, polls show.
The ads are part of a joint project between American Urban Radio Networks and the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP).
"We've already received numerous reports of possible voter suppression,” said NCBCP’s Executive Director Melanie L. Campbell. “It’s essential to get the word out to vote early or be first in line to avoid the drama on November 4th," she added.
The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation also is urging African-Americans to verify their registration status and their polling location before Election Day, and it urges voters to bring identification with them to the polls, just in case.
“Don’t leave your polling place without voting,” the NCBCP Web site says, and it offers a toll-free number to call if problems arise.
Although Obama is leading in most polls, the Democratic presidential candidate has warned against complacency.
“Don’t underestimate the capacity of Democrats to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Don’t underestimate our ability to screw it up,” Obama said at a fundraising concert in New York City last week.
"I want everybody running scared,” Obama said. “Over the next 18 days, other than your family and your job, I want you to make a decision that there is nothing more important than bringing about this change that we need."
Some Republicans have questioned why Obama, with his huge fund-raising advantage and with the liberal mainstream media giving him such favorable coverage, isn’t even further ahead in the polls. It’s not a done deal yet, various conservative talk-show hosts are insisting.
Liberal, pro-Obama groups, including ACORN and the Democratic National Committee, accuse Republicans of trying to “suppress” the vote by challenging voter registrations based on discrepancies, such as changes of address.
ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) has just released a new video, challenging “concocted Republican issues of voter fraud and the Republican coordinated attempts at voter suppression.”
ACORN, a liberal “community organizer” group that has collected hundreds of bogus voter registrations, says it wants to set the record straight.
In the new video, ACORN officials say ACORN itself flagged suspect voter registrations turned in by its volunteers.
“Suppressing the low-income minority voters can swing an entire election. A handful of improperly filled out voter registration cards cannot,” ACORN board member Carmen Arias says in the video.
But Wednesday’s New York Times raises troubling questions for ACORN about “whether the web of relationships among its 174 affiliates may have led to violations of federal laws.”
The June 18 report, written for ACORN by Washington lawyer Elizabeth Kingsley, “spells out her concerns about potentially improper use of charitable dollars for political purposes; money transfers among the affiliates; and potential conflicts created by employees working for multiple affiliates, among other things,” the New York Times reported.