Voters Urged to Bring Proper ID to Voting Booth


US Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., Entertainer Hill Harper Support the NAM Voter Education Project

San Francisco, CA ( – Registered voters across America, particularly people of color, are being urged to bring the proper credentials to the voting booth on Election Day because many states have toughened the identification requirements for people to be able to cast their ballots.

New America Media (NAM), a collaboration of ethnic news outlets, is working with the Advancement Project and a number of public officials and entertainers to ensure voters are aware of the identification requirements in their states. NAM is focusing the outreach efforts in nine states where the rules may confuse voters–Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

"The 2000 and 2004 elections reminded us that every vote matters,” said Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.), who is supporting the project. "Now, we’ve got to counter any efforts to discourage people of color from voting. We can do that by encouraging registered voters to take the proper identification to their polling place, and educating voters on how to make sure their votes will count."

Rep. Jackson condemned attempts to discourage voting, saying, "We need to be expanding the right to vote, not finding new schemes that keep people away from the polls. I’m proud of NAM’s work for voting rights, and its call for people to come out in droves on Election Day to support candidates who will improve their quality of life and are committed to protecting voting rights for everyone–rich and poor, black, white and brown."

Actor Hill Harper, who is participating in TV public service announcements for the project, also urged voters to heed the warning to know the requirements in their particular states.

"This will be a close election, and it is imperative that every vote be counted," Harper said. "In the past, it was good enough to just urge people to vote. But with these new restrictions, we need for everyone to understand what is required for their vote to count. So, I am urging people to take the time to know the requirements in their state, and then go out and vote on Election Day. To bring about change in America, we need for everyone to exercise their civil responsibility and get out and vote."

For detailed information about what identification is required at their local polling station, voters are urged to call 866-MYVOTE1 or 866-OURVOTE. Someone will provide you with information about what you need to register and what identification you need on Election Day. This week, NAM will release radio and television PSAs to stations around the country, which include celebrities such as Harper, Actors Andre Braugher, Suzzanne Douglas, Kim Fields, Vivica A. Fox, R & B singer Lloyd, NY Knicks/NBA player Stephon Marbury, Actor Joseph C. Phillips, Producer/singer PURE, Actor/Comedian Chris Tucker, and others.

"This is an important project for our nation," said Sandy Close, NAM’s executive editor and director. "We want to ensure that everyone who wants to vote can actually cast their ballot. That is what it means to be a democracy."