Press Releases

Rev. Al Sharpton & National Action Network (NAN) To Continue NAN’s Voter Engagement Tour Thursday, September 13th At Friendship West Baptist Church

Sep 11, 2012


Rachel Noerdlinger

Sarah Massey
(202) 210-6614


Rev. Al Sharpton, President of National Action Network (NAN)
Dr. Frederick D. Haynes, III, Senior Pastor of the Friendship-West Baptist Church
Pastor Michael A. Walrond, Jr, Head of NAN’s Ministers Initiative

Friendship-West Baptist Church
2020 West Wheatland Road
Dallas, TX

Wednesday, September 12, 2012
11:00 a.m. event starts
7:00 p.m. Keynote by Rev. Al Sharpton


Reverend Al Sharpton and National Action Network’s Ministers Division will continue NAN’S “Voter Engagement Tour” in Dallas, Texas on Wednesday, September 12 at Friendship West Baptist Church.  The tour is being led by NAN’s Ministers Initiative in key states across the country where voter suppression and disenfranchisement are practiced and voter identification laws are prevalent. On Thursday, August 30th a federal court blocked a Texas law that would have required voters to show photo identification, ruling that the legislation would impose “strict, unforgiving burdens” on poor minority voters. Describing the law as the most stringent in the country, the unanimous decision by a three-judge panel marks the first time that a federal court has blocked a voter-ID law. It will reverberate politically through the November elections. Republicans and Democrats have been arguing over whether tough voter-ID laws in a number of states discriminate against African Americans and Hispanics.

In addition, the Texas election code for community voter registration drives makes it a crime for people from out of state to help collect applications. Texas imposes the most burdensome regulations of all the states on those of us who want to help register Americans to vote. African Americans register to vote through voter registration drives at twice the rate of Caucasians, but Texas law shuts those drives down. Texas ranks 42nd out of all the states for the percentage of people registered to vote. Nearly 40% of Texans are not registered and can’t participate in elections.

NAN’s Ministers Tour kicked-off on June 28 in Eatonville, Florida at Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, and since that date, National Action Network’s tour has been to New Birth Baptist Church Cathedral of Faith International in Miami, Florida, Greater Abyssinia Baptist Church in Cleveland, Ohio, Salem Bible Church in Atlanta, Georgia, Bethel Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Florida, and other leading religious institutions where NAN engaged voters and educated them about Voter ID laws.

From now until Election Day, NAN’s goal is to educate and empower the electorate on how to combat these restrictive new voter requirements and ultimately protect voter rights. NAN will tour many of the states and cities impacted by these new draconian laws and align efforts with the local community.  The day-long program will begin with a luncheon with clergy members with a focus on creating an infrastructure in each city to continue voter education and protection. Teaming up with Education for a Better America, NAN will host a workshop during the latter part of the afternoon designed to inform the voting public and engagement volunteers about new and existing laws that will impact them in their respective communities.  The evening will feature a rally at a local church that will feature a keynote address by Rev. Al Sharpton.

NAN’s mission is to work to ensure that every vote in every community across the nation is counted. Voter suppression efforts are threatening the notion of democracy as we know it. When about 5 million Americans may be disenfranchised from the polls this November, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, we understand that complacency is not an option.


For additional information, please contact the National Action Network at (212) 690-3070