On Eve of Early Voting, Georgia Under Pressure to Immediately Add Voters to Rolls


Lawsuit Would Force State and Local Counties to Enroll Eligible Voters

ATLANTA AND WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A lawsuit was filed today in Fulton County, Georgia Superior Court against Georgia Secretary of State, Brian Kemp, and five county boards of election on behalf of Third Sector Development, the parent organization of the New Georgia Project (NGP), the national NAACP, and the Georgia State Conference of the NAACP.

The lawsuit seeks a writ of mandamus to require the Secretary of State and county boards of election to promptly process voter registration applications submitted by eligible voters in time for these citizens to cast a regular ballot in the midterm elections. Early voting begins on Monday, October 13.

Today’s lawsuit was brought by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), the law firm Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P, the law firm Sandler, Reiff, Lamb, Rosenstein & Birkenstock, P.C. and attorneys for the NAACP.

From March to September 2014, the non-partisan NGP undertook a massive voter registration drive that resulted in it submitting over 86,000 applications. Young people of color registering to vote for the first time completed the majority of those applications. But as of September 4, 2014, more than 40,000 voters, most of whom areminorities,who applied to register through an NGP drive are missing from state voter rolls. The state and counties have neither explained why the applications are unaccounted for, nor have they contacted these voters about their delayed or missing applications, as required by Georgia law. The Georgia State Conference of the NAACP also conducted a separate voter registration drive and submitted thousands of voter registration applications.

“We hoped litigation would not be necessary, but with early voting beginning next week, eligible Georgians are dangerously close to not being allowed to vote in this election. All eligible registrants should be processed immediately; provisional voting is not an acceptable option,” shared Representative Stacey Abrams, founder of Third Sector Development.

“This failure to process voter registrations is a travesty on the part of the State of Georgia so close to an election,” said Lawyers’ Committee President and Executive DirectorBarbara Arnwine.“It is unacceptable that eligible voters who were a step closer to exercising their fundamental right to vote stand to be denied by the state.  America’s young voters should be excited about voting, not worried that they will become disenfranchised before even arriving to the polls.”

After the 2012 election, Secretary Kemp himself acknowledged that Fulton County experienced major problems with its voter registration rolls. Kemp said, “[I]t appears to me that we’ve had people [in Fulton County] that were disenfranchised that never even got a vote that were not properly registered even though they made the deadline.” In the past week, Kemp’s office rebuffed repeated requests to meet in person to discuss the numerous voter registration applications that appear to remain unprocessed or delayed. Secretary Kemp has rolled out a new version of a voter registration processing system utilized by the counties that matches applicants with the Department of Driver Services database. This is the first major election using the new system.  It is unclear whether this new system is part of the processing problem.

“The Plaintiffs in this lawsuit are determined to prevent the major problems that occurred in 2012 from recurring in Fulton County or in other counties this year,” said Bob Kengle, co-director of the Voting Rights Project at the Lawyers’ Committee.“Processing voter registration applications in a timely way and registering eligible voters who have submitted valid applications are the duties of the Secretary and county election officials. There are strong indications that they are shirking this obligation at the expense of thousands of citizens’ voting rights, and there is no other option but a lawsuit to protect those rights.”

 “The tens of thousands of Georgians that NGP has registered are thrilled to exercise their right to vote but their registration status hangs in limbo,” said Dara Lindenbaum, senior associate at Sandler Reiff Lamb Rosenstein & Birkenstock, P.C. “We are determined ensure that these eligible voters can exercise their rights and have their voices heard.”

“In the lawsuit, we are asking the court to order the defendants to carry out their statutory duties to promptly process all pending voter applications, provide notice to applicants whose information is missing in sufficient time for them to submit missing information, and add eligible and qualified applicants to the official list of registrants,” said V. Robert Denham, Jr., managing partner at Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P.

Georgia voters who are confused or concerned about the status of their voter registration application should contact the non-partisan Election Protection national coalition’s 1-866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) hotline. Election Protection is working with the NGP to help those who have registered to vote in Georgia but have not received confirmation voter registration cards.

Dr. Francys Johnson, president of the Georgia State Conference of the NAACP, stated “We will not sit on the sidelines, we will not watch – we are taking action.”

NAACP Meeting on Education 5/21

Because of the Memorial Day holiday, the monthly branch meeting of the Greater Miami NAACP is scheduled for 7PM, Monday, May 21, 2012 at the New Birth Baptist Church - East Campus, 13230 NW 7 Avenue, Miami, FL.

The hot topic this month is Education and there will be follow up on other issues. Representatives from Miami-Dade County Public Schools will be present.


NAACP Miami-Dade Branch in Sanford for Trayvon Martin March & Rally

More than 100 people from the NAACP Miami-Dade Branch were among the protesters at the Trayvon Martin March & Rally in Sanford, Florida yesterday. The NAACP Florida State Conference sponsored the event. Stay tuned for more details and photos.


NAACP Branch Meeting, Oct. 24

The Miami-Dade Branch of the NAACP will hold its monthly meeting on Monday, October 24, 2011, 7 pm, in the chapel at the New Birth East Campus, 13230 NW 7th Avenue, Miami.
This is a community meeting. You do not have to be a member to attend but your membership is needed so the organization can effectively address issues in the community and support community-building program initiatives.
For more information, call the branch office at (305) 685-8694.

NAACP celebrates Divine Nine and Freedom Riders 9/10


by Vanessa “VaVa” Woodard Byers

The upcoming Annual Freedom Fund Celebration of the Miami-Dade Branch of the NAACP will honor the Divine Nine Pan-Hellenic organizations with a special tribute to the Freedom Riders. The Divine Nine are the Greek-letter organizations that are members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority; Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority; Zeta Phi Beta Sorority; Iota Phi Theta Fraternity; Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity; Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority; Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. The Freedom Riders are legends in civil rights. A multi-racial group of people, the Freedom Riders courageously broke down segregation barriers in the United States in the 1961. They were recently featured on PBS and The Oprah Winfrey Show on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of their historic bus rides. All of the groups to be honored have played a significant role in the fight for civil rights in this country, don't miss this momentous celebration.

The event is Saturday, September 10, 2011, 7 pm, at The Hyatt Regency Miami, 400 Southeast Second Avenue, Miami, FL 33131. Donation is $125 per person, including NAACP membership, or $1,000 for a table of ten. For a table or individuals, e-mail me at [email protected].


Highlights of NAACP Political Forum [PHOTOS]

More than 1,500 people were in attendance at Monday night’s political forum sponsored by the Greater Miami Branch of the NAACP and several unions. The event was not a debate although it seemed as such with a few of the panels. Candidates from several races participated and several were absent but let’s get to that later.

You can follow tweets of the forum below. Forgive the typos; it was difficult trying to keep up with each person, especially Rev. Sharpton.

Participating candidates (In order of program): SCHOOL BOARD DISTRICT 2- Rep. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall and Ronda Vangates; COUNTY COMMISSION DISTRICT 2 - Dorrin Rolle and Jean Monestime; GOVERNOR - Rep. Jennifer Carroll (for Rick Scott); COUNTY COMMISSION DISTRICT 8 - Eugene Flinn and Lynda Bell; CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 17 - Roderick Vereen; and U.S. SENATE - Congressman Kendrick Meek.

Candidates absent and who did not send a surrogate: GOVERNOR - Alex Sink; CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 17 - Senator Frederica Wilson; U.S. SENATE - Marco Rubio (declined to participate) and Charlie Crist.

Here are our tweets of the forum. Remember they are in reverse chronological order


blogblackmiami Good night everyone. This has been fun. Get out and vote. No excuses.

blogblackmiami Pastor Johnson giving benedictio

blogblackmiami Bishop Curry was acknowledged. He's not speaking tonight.

blogblackmiami Time for the benediction.

blogblackmiami Asked about brokering deal for him to get out of the race. He's not quitting the race. Said we can win this race. 

blogblackmiami Joy Ann Reid is an excellent moderator. Meek handling questions well. Will she ask about Stackhouse issue or is that irrelevant now? 

blogblackmiami Joy asked about folks who are wavering between him and Crist. Meek runs down list of issues that Crist has not dealt with. 

blogblackmiami Meek said he's running because people need good strong representation. Said it's not about him; it's about the people. 

blogblackmiami Kendrick Meek is the only candidate present from his race. 

blogblackmiami Wow. Quote of the night: "I may walk up here in a suit but I wear many hats too!" --- Rod Vereen

blogblackmiami Wow. Vereen pointed out that Wilson is absent. Said he wants to raise the bar for District 17.

blogblackmiami Vereen said healthcare needs to be tweaked.

blogblackmiami Vereen is speaking quite well.

blogblackmiami Now he's talking about Haiti and Disparity of wet foot dry foot policy. Lots of applause.

blogblackmiami He also said that some employers take advantage of undocumented aliens.

blogblackmiami Supports DREAM Act but thinks illegal aliens should be given an opportunity to take steps to work for citizenship. 

blogblackmiami Question about the DREAM Act. 

blogblackmiami Median family income in District 17 is $30,000. 

blogblackmiami District 17 race. Vereen is here. Wilson is absent. 

blogblackmiami Two more races to do. 

blogblackmiami A lady is here with a RECALL ALVAREZ petition. 

blogblackmiami Half the audience has left. 

blogblackmiami Time for the collection. This is for the NAACP. 

blogblackmiami That's all from Rev. Al. He has thrown down the gauntlet. 

blogblackmiami He's about to close. Kendrick Meek just entered the room. 

blogblackmiami We have a genuine opportunity to change history for everyone. 

blogblackmiami Rev. Al is cutting up like Katt Williams without the profanity. For real.

blogblackmiami Talking about trying to turn back the clock. Our children are being taught to give up. 

blogblackmiami OMG He is cutting up. If folks don't vote after this I don't know what will motivation is required. 

blogblackmiami "Don't try to put the man in a box. Let the man be president for everybody!" 

blogblackmiami President Obama really needs to take Rev. Al on the road. 

blogblackmiami He's covering too much. Can't type that fast. He is breaking it down and connecting dots. Tea Party. State's rights. Wow. 

blogblackmiami "Change don't come with one vote!" 

blogblackmiami I know a collection is going to be taken after this. He's got folks fired up. LOL 

blogblackmiami He's bringing the crowd to their feet. 

blogblackmiami Rev. Al is breaking it down about civil rights in the 60's and how we lost because of infighting. 

blogblackmiami Rev. Al is way thinner than expected. Speaking of challenges we face today. Talking about us using excuses not to vote. 

blogblackmiami A printed program was not distributed so we don't know the order of the program. 

blogblackmiami Rev. Sharpton is being introduced. 

blogblackmiami Both candidates are now letting us know about their church involvement. 

blogblackmiami Bell said the parade was a Veteran's Day Parade for an organization. Said she was set up by her opponent. 

blogblackmiami Here comes question about the confederate flag. 

blogblackmiami Flinn and Bell are answering questions about cutting the budget. She is more specific.

blogblackmiami Rev. Sharpton is here. 

blogblackmiami It's great that both candidates are here because their district is so far south. 

blogblackmiami Next up County Commission District 8 candidates. 

blogblackmiami @msgrbornagain Sounds good if the resources are available to make that happen. Too often we have to deal with unfunded mandates.   in reply to msgrbornagain

blogblackmiami It's a little hostile in here for Carroll but she's holding her own. 

blogblackmiami SB6: Voted for it. 

blogblackmiami Joy Ann Reid is pulling no punches. Carroll gets points for handling herself well. 

blogblackmiami Joy Reid does not play when it comes to staying within time limits.

blogblackmiami Looks kind of funky with only one person at the table. 

blogblackmiami Amendments on the ballot are being reviewed by moderators. Pros and cons. 

blogblackmiami @JamiMiami You're welcome.   in reply to JamiMiami

blogblackmiami Jennifer Carroll is here representing Rick Scott. 

blogblackmiami Rolle continuing to list what he's done in District 2. Monestime supporter escorted out. 

blogblackmiami Monestime said he's running because it's time for a change. He said businesses are closing their doors.

blogblackmiami Rolle talked about projects with requirements to hire from the inner city. 

blogblackmiami Monestime said we need to develop our business corridors. We have to copy what has happened in other areas.

blogblackmiami Next question about economy and jobs.

blogblackmiami The audience is answering the question. LOL

blogblackmiami Monestime breaking down impact of lobbyists on the election. Remember the question was about term limits.

blogblackmiami Monestime said either Rolle is in denial or he doesn't live in the District. 

blogblackmiami Rolle is on the defensive. Accuses Monestime of not knowing the community. Wow. 

blogblackmiami Question about term limits. Rolle said term limits are set by the people. If you're doing your job the voters will re-elect you. 

blogblackmiami Monestime would bring in independent bodies for recommendations about JMH. Rolle said he is the reason JMH is still open.

blogblackmiami Next question about JMH.

blogblackmiami Monestime pinpointing progress in other areas. This is a debate. 

blogblackmiami Elliott Rodriguez has arrived.

blogblackmiami Rolle is on the defensive and is listing his accomplishments. Seems like a debate to me.

blogblackmiami Monestime said his opponent has had 12 years to benefit District 2 and he has failed to do that.

blogblackmiami It's hard to concentrate on the intros because of the individual comments from some of the audience members.

blogblackmiami It's so unfortunate that this was not a debate. The voters really need to hear more to determine which candidate to vote for.

blogblackmiami Up next, County Commission district 2.

blogblackmiami A few digs during the closing remarks. Wow.

blogblackmiami It's getting hot in here!

blogblackmiami Both would vote no on Amendment 8.

blogblackmiami Both agree that students should not have to choose between athletics and academics.

blogblackmiami Are athletics too important in our school system?

blogblackmiami Vangates mentioned need to protect all employees not just teachers.

blogblackmiami Question about crumbling school facilities in District 2.

blogblackmiami Vangates generating a lot of applause for responses. Says vote for her for something different.

blogblackmiami Mindingall wants to bring organizations together to work with our kids. Wants to bring in K-8 center, increase # of Haitian admins, etc.

blogblackmiami Starting off with School Board District 2 candidates. Mindingall and Vangates.

blogblackmiami A lot of energy here. Moderators being introduced. Joy Ann Reid is here. Elliott Rodriguez en route.

blogblackmiami At New Birth Cathedral of Faith. Monica Russo is starting things off. Lower level is almost full. This is not a debate.

blogblackmiami At New Birth Cathedral of Faith. Follow us on Twitter at



Afterthoughts and Comments: 

It would have been really beneficial if the community was afforded the opportunity to hear from all of the candidates in all of the races even if forums were scheduled over multiple dates. There are too many importance races and issues on the ballot to cover in one evening and several audience members were disappointed that they did not hear from candidates in addition to those presented.


The audience turnout was great because frequently there are more candidates than attendees at political forums. It is unfortunate that half the audience and moderator Elliott Rodriguez left after Rev. Al Sharpton’s keynote address because they thought the event had concluded. Candidates for the District 17 Congressional Race and U.S. Senate race addressed a crowd that dwindled to less than half the number present before Sharpton took the stage.


Here are some afterthoughts and comments from some of the attendees:


*Lt. Governor candidate Jennifer Carroll

A number of people who attended did not know Rick Scott’s running mate is black and a woman. Some commented that she’s another Sarah Palin but they have not seen her in action. She has benefited from the Republican-dominated politics in Florida and let folks know that she is in a history-making position because no black female has been that close to the highest elected position in Florida. She also made sure folks know she’s Caribbean and has local ties since her husband’s uncle Earl Carroll was the first black county commissioner; her husband is from Miami and their son Nolan II plays for the Miami Dolphins.


Carroll handled some tough questions well in a Democrat-dominated audience. Some in the audience commented that they would prefer to vote for her over Alex Sink and Rick Scott. They went on to say she held her ground when questioned and did not appear to give an answer just to satisfy the audience.


*U.S. Senate

Congressman Meek had this panel to himself as Rubio declined and Crist was a no-show. As expected, Meek was very comfortable in responding to the questions. He reiterated he is in the race and he can win.


*Congressional District 17

Senator Frederica Wilson, widely regarded as a shoo-in, was a no-show. Her opponent, Atty. Roderick Vereen, pointed out that she is a frequent no-show. He also spoke favorably of the previous District 17 representatives and the need to have someone with law-making experience fill that seat. Several attendees were pleased with Vereen’s presentation.


*County Commission District 2

Former North Miami Vice Mayor Jean Monestime is the strongest competition incumbent Dorrin Rolle has faced since he’s been on the Board of County Commissioners.  Monestime pointed out the lack of development and need for change in District 2 and Rolle rattled off a list of projects he takes credit for bringing to District 2. This panel seemed a lot more like a debate than a forum and Rolle did appear to be on the defensive at times. One of Monestime’s vocal supporters was escorted from the sanctuary by New Birth security.


*County Commission District 8

Eugene Flinn and Lynda Bell have both led cities in deep south Miami-Dade County and are vying to replace retiring Commissioner Katy Sorenson. Both seemed comfortable although their attempts at justifying their sensitivity to diversity and proclaiming their church involvement came across a little awkward. Bell still has to overcome the flap from the display of the confederate flag at the Veteran’s Day parade in Homestead a couple of years ago. She claims to have been set up by her competitor. Interesting.


*School Board District 2

This race between Rep. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall and Ronda Vangates has been very low profile as far as media coverage but one of the most important races in recent years. Retired educator, administrator and legislator Mindingall has name recognition, UTD endorsement and grassroots community support while Vangates enjoys the backing of retiring school board member Dr. Solomon Stinson, Former County Commissioner Dr. Barbara Carey-Shuler and their supporters.


Comments from some attendees are that this race will be very close and others think Mindingall will win by a landslide. Some think Vangates connected more with the audience and others think Mindingall seemed to have a better overall grasp of what the position needs and will better engage parents. Other comments indicated that this race may break down to a battle of the generations also.


 In full disclosure, I know both of these candidates and am a former candidate for this seat. I have endorsed Bendross-Mindingall.


Other candidates and elected officials present included Perry Thurston; Dwight Bullard; Cynthia Stafford; Richard Dunn; Alison Austin and Gwen Margolis.


Thank you to everyone who attended the forum and those who followed on Twitter. All registered voters need to get out and vote. Every election is important but just as important as the 2008 election was, 2010 is equally if not more important. Get out and Vote!



NAACP political forum features the Rev. Al

The Reverend Al Sharpton is scheduled to participate in the upcoming political forum sponsored by the Miami-Dade branch of the NAACP on Monday, October 18, 2010 at New Birth. The forum, which is sure to be well-attended, starts at 6 pm. The church is located at 2300 NW 135 Street, Miami.

There are a number of important races and amendments on the ballot. Don't miss the forum and come out so you can be an informed voter. Please spread the word.

NAACP political forum features the Rev. Al

Phone bank volunteers needed

The Miami-Dade NAACP will be phone banking to urge persons in census tracts that had a low return rate of the mailed forms to urge them to cooperate with the census taker who comes to their door. The NAACP will provide a call list and scripts and you can call from home over the next two weeks. To volunteer, or for more information, e-mail Dr. Brad Brown at [email protected] or call the Branch office at (305) 685-8694


Everyone needs to be counted in the Census so our community receives the funding its entitled to.




Special message from the NAACP

By Shavon Arline, NAACP Health Care Programs Director

January has been a rough month for those of us who care about meaningful health care reform. Some cynics and beltway insiders have said that we have missed our window of opportunity; that Congress will now shift its focus on to other priorities. But this sort of attitude is not only wrong-headed, it is downright undemocratic. The pundits and beltway analysts don't decide what is on the agenda-we the people decide!!!

The NAACP will continue to push ahead for comprehensive health care for all Americans, even as these nay-sayers work to prevent it from happening this year. But we cannot do it alone. Congress needs to hear from you.

This week we need all NAACP members and supporters to make their voices heard. We have set up a toll free number for you to directly call your Member of Congress. Here's what you can do:

Call 1-866-783-2462 and ask to be connected to your Member of Congress.

Tell your Member of Congress to finish the job this year. We expect a health care reform bill that mirrors the language passed by the House of Representatives, a bill that provides for:

1. Quality, affordable health care, in reach of low- and middle-income families;
2. Accountability for insurance companies, with strong regulations and consumer protections; and
3. The competition provided by a public option.

When you're done, let us know how your conversation went. We have set up an online feedback form just for this purpose.

Health care reform is not only possible this year, it is crucial. Unless we pass a strong health care reform bill, the color of your skin, your ethnic background, and where you live will continue to influence your access to health care, as well as the quality and cost of your care. These are facts that cannot be simply "tabled" for political expediency.

For more information about Health Care reform and communities of color, please visit the NAACP's 880 Campaign website.

Juvenile Justice in Miami Dade

The 11th Circuit  Juvenile Justice Board, in collaboration with the Children's Trust and the University of Miami organized an event on the current state of juvenile justice in Miami-Dade on October 2nd, 2009. The goal was to develop a juvenile justice strategic plan and legislative agenda for dismantling the pipeline in our community.

The featured speaker was Adora Obi Nweze, President Florida State Conference NAACP.

You can watch the entire presentation on uVu