Color of Change on Women’s Voices, Women’s Votes
James Rucker and Color of Change have been tireless advocates when it comes to combating voter suppression and disenfranchisement. Rucker released this statement on the Women’s Voices, Women’s Votes issue:
There have been clear errors in planning and execution on the part of Women’s Voices Women’s Votes, and those errors have led to a situation where Black voters in North Carolina may be dissuaded from voting in a hotly contested and important primary election. This is a major problem and point of concern. To continue in the important role they’ve played in past elections, Women’s Voices Women’s Votes must fix the damage done and prevent it from happening in the future–working to restore the faith of the community protecting access to the vote by all people. It is essential that groups doing voter registration operate within the law and that they ensure that they do not confuse voters in to the process of doing their work.
At the same time, the accusations that the errors made by Women’s Voices Women’s Votes are part of a conspiracy to help Senator Clinton, appear to be false and reckless. Women’s Voices Women’s Votes has a history of registering voters of color, and the facts as we understand them, simply don’t point to such a conspiracy. As Women’s Voices Women’s Votes takes deserved heat for whatever damage they’ve caused, it’s not productive for them to be unfairly maligned as working to harm or help one of the presidential primary candidates.
As an organization that is tirelessly fighting voter suppression in the Black community where a history of disenfranchisement necessitates a raised level of scrutiny, we must take any accusations seriously, but in doing so rely on the facts.
There were 20 million single women who were not registered to vote during the 2004 election. They are reliable Democratic voters and had they been registered, it could have changed the outcome of the election. WVWV has taken on the task of trying to reach them. There were certainly mistakes made here and WVWV need to provide answers about how and why they happened. But feeding them (and anyone associated with them) through the wood chipper of candidate advocacy right now will have bad consequences for all of us down the road.
There are real, serious concerted efforts to disenfranchise voters, as with the recent Indiana Voter ID act that was waved through the Supreme Court. There is no evidence at this time that what happened in North Carolina falls into that category.
Come November, we’re going to need every vote we can get.