Cost of Freedom Project Launches Voter Education Campaign


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The Cost of Freedom Project has partnered with the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation’s Unity 2012 Voter Empowerment Campaign and The Andrew Goodman Foundation to educate voters about the new photo ID requirements.

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Cost of Freedom Project Launches Voter Education Campaign

  1. 1. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Cost of Freedom Project Launches Voter Education Campaign With the Clock Ticking, Public Awareness Campaign Will Help Voters Get ReadyPHILADELPHIA, PA – August 6, 2012 – Today marks the 47th anniversary of thesigning of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In his remarks, President Lyndon B. Johnsonsaid, “This right to vote is the basic right without which all others are meaningless.”Forty-seven years later, states have enacted new legal barriers that could make itharder for five million eligible voters to exercise the basic right of our democracy. Themost burdensome change requires voters to show an acceptable form of photo ID inorder to vote.(Logo: Pennsylvania, for example, 758,000 registered voters, including 186,000 inPhiladelphia, do not have a PennDOT ID, the most common form of acceptableidentification. A new analysis of the impact of the voter ID law found that in thebirthplace of our democracy, voters in predominantly African American precincts are 85percent more likely to lack a PennDOT ID than voters in predominantly white precincts.“The data show that a law that’s neutral on its face has a disparate racial impact,” saidFaye Anderson, project manager for the Cost of Freedom Project. “While the legalchallenges to restrictive photo ID laws play out in the courts and the U.S. Department ofJustice, we must help voters get ready.”Anderson added, “Voters don’t know what they don’t know. Millions of voters across thecountry will be in for a shock when they show up on Election Day and find out they mustshow an acceptable form of photo ID before casting a regular ballot.”The Cost of Freedom Project has partnered with the National Coalition on Black CivicParticipation’s Unity 2012 Voter Empowerment Campaign and The Andrew GoodmanFoundation to educate voters about the new photo ID requirements.“The new voter ID laws, some of which are being litigated under the Voting Rights Act of1965, are making it even more difficult for some people to vote who have no reason toget a driver’s license, and never had one,” said David Goodman, President of TheAndrew Goodman Foundation.Goodman added, “It’s kind of shocking to think that my brother, Andrew Goodman, losthis life trying to get people registered to vote. We are now ‘back to the future’ almost 50years later. But it doesn’t have to be this way. The Andrew Goodman Foundation,
  2. 2. through its Vote Everywhere initiative, continues to empower citizens to vote. And weare proud to support the Cost of Freedom App as a 21st century solution to voteraccess and information barriers presented by voter ID laws.”Melanie L. Campbell, President & CEO of the National Coalition on Black CivicParticipation said, “The National Coalition is continuing the legacy of Andrew Goodman,James Chaney and Michael Schwerner, three of the original foot soldiers fordemocracy.”Campbell continued, “An integral component of our national campaign is voterprotection. Unity 2012 is training hundreds of Black Youth Vote! Foot Soldiers forDemocracy to become voting rights advocates, poll monitors and poll workers. The Costof Freedom App is an effective tool to assist our Foot Soldiers in their efforts to raiseawareness of the voting changes and, where necessary, help voters obtain a voter ID.”The public awareness campaign will be powered by social media. We will provide aCost of Freedom App widget which organizations can embed on their website. We willalso use traditional media, including Public Service Announcements and communitynewspapers, to reach voters where they are. Voter education materials will bedistributed at town hall meetings, policy forums and other community events.About Cost of Freedom Project: The Cost of Freedom Project is a citizen-led initiativethat has developed the Cost of Freedom App to help voters navigate their state’s voterID application process. The web-based app provides photo ID requirements for all 50states and the District of Columbia. The Cost of Freedom Project is a model for howcivic innovation can be used to empower ordinary citizens to make a difference. Formore information, visit Unity 2012 Campaign: The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation is thenational convener of Unity ’12, a unified, nonpartisan, national civic engagement andvoter empowerment campaign. The Unity Campaign works with The National Coalition’smembership organizations, state-based affiliates and partners, including the A. PhilipRandolph Institute, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Black Women’sRoundtable, Black Youth Vote!, Cost of Freedom Project and other groups, to ensurethat black voters are prepared for the presidential election. For more information, Andrew Goodman and The Andrew Goodman Foundation: AndrewGoodman (Andy) stepped onto the world stage in 1964 when he spent the summer inbetween his junior/senior year at Queens College volunteering to register African-Americans to vote in Mississippi. On June 21, his first day in Mississippi, Andy went tovisit a burned down church along with civil rights advocates, James Chaney andMichael Schwerner. Tragically, all three were murdered by the Ku Klux Klan. Theirsacrifice, along with that of many others, led to new laws that guaranteed the right ofevery citizen to vote. In 1966, Robert and Carolyn Goodman founded The AndrewGoodman Foundation to carry on the spirit and purpose of their son’s life. Today, themission of The Andrew Goodman Foundation is to recognize, encourage and inspire
  3. 3. creative and effective action in support of human dignity, social justice and civil rights.For more information, visit contacts:Faye AndersonCost of Freedom Project(215) DavisNational Coalition on Black Civic ParticipationBlack Youth Vote!(818) Ginelle EwingThe Andrew Goodman Foundation(347)