November 11, 2012 //
Through your tireless efforts, the democratic processes were made available to individuals who were
- Voting for the first time as young adults.
- Voting for the first after completing felony sentences.
- Not eligible to vote (citizenship, etc.) but wanting to work within the NAACP Campaign.
- Early voting to accommodate those who are aged or disabled.
- Learning for the first time the tenets of a non-partisan campaign.
- Asking to volunteer their time, talents and equipment to ensure accessible voting in their communities.
While our initial months were somewhat awkward, the Branch Units hung in for the long haul–and I truly thank you. Once we picked up speed, we simply did not have enough hours in the day. Working together, coordination became a seamless process.
With registrations alone, the State Conference still has data to be entered into the NAACP VAN—data captured from efforts during the warmer, summer months of registration throughout southeast Wisconsin. During these final months, the Milwaukee area appeared to have the greatest number of electors entered into the NAACP VAN. The Campaign’s focus shifted to accommodate a push to get out the vote (GOTV) of individuals previously registered. Both lists–taken from the NAACP VAN and those yet to be entered–became extremely useful.
With Milwaukee-specific flyers and an additional set of door hangers from the National Office, State Conference volunteers reached 3,500+ doors with an additional 3,000 distributed through more than 60+ faith-based communities. On the eve of Election Day, an additional 5,000+ individuals were phoned to encourage them to vote.
The NAACP provided rides to various polling sites—both during the two-week period of Early Voting within the City of Milwaukee and on Election Day. Election Day rides were triaged from a weekend-long phone banking of our NAACP VAN lists; additionally last minute request were covered through a partnership with the local Election Protection Group. Our medical transportation partner assisted individuals who were not aware of absentee processes but who could not otherwise have voted because of physical limitations.
Roughly 50 individuals came together as an NAACP Team to volunteer as Polling Site Observers with the State-wide Election Protection Group. An additional group remained at the Campaign Central Office to field calls—both to encourage GOTV and for inbound questions that were triaged to Election Protection Attorneys.
All of this activity occurred without any mention of the preparation and training work to make these events successful. I would be remiss not to thank the team who supported our Campaign with countless hours of work behind the scene. And it goes without saying that our success within our respective Units could not have been possible without the dedication from each Unit’s Civic Engagement Coordinator/Team and Branch President.
Our success is measured–and confirmed–in the vast numbers of
individuals whose access to voting was enhanced (and even made possible)
by the efforts of this year’s This is My Vote Civic Campaign.
For your dedication to the cause, Thank you!
Wendell J Harris Sr, Civic Engagement Coordinator
Thomas E White, President
Lillie Wilson, First Vice President
Wisconsin State Conference NAACP