Sunday, June 18, 2006

The Conscience of Saline County - June 17, 2006

Hilary O. Shelton, Director NAACP Washington bureau, Freedom Fund Banquet Speaker

The Mar-Saline branch of the NAACP announced their freedom Fund Banquet. The Banquet is September 2, 2006 in the R. Wilson Brown Room on the campus of Missouri Valley College. The banquet is preceded with a guest of honor reception beginning at 5:30 PM. Tickets to the gala is $30.00

Hilary O. Shelton, presently serves as Director to the NAACP's Washington Bureau. The Washington Bureau is the Federal legislative and national public policy division of the national civil rights organization. In this capacity, Hilary is responsible for advocating the federal public policy issue agenda of the oldest, largest, and most widely recognized civil rights organization in the United States to the U.S. Government. Hilary's government affairs portfolio includes crucial issues such as affirmative action, equal employment protection, access to quality education, stopping gun violence, ending racial profiling, abolition of the death penalty, access to comprehensive healthcare, voting rights protection, federal sentencing reform and a host of civil rights enforcement, expansion and protection issues.
Prior to serving as director to the NAACP Washington Bureau, Hilary served in the position of Federal Liaison/Assistant Director to the Government Affairs Department of The College Fund/UNCF, formerly known as The United Negro College Fund in Washington, D.C. In this capacity, Hilary worked with Senate and House Members of the U.S. Congress, Federal Agencies and Departments, college and university presidents and faculty members, as well as the White House to secure the survival, growth and educational programming excellence of the 39 private historically black colleges and universities throughout the United States.
Prior to working for The College Fund/UNCF, Hilary served as a Federal Policy Program Director to the 8.5 million-member United Methodist Churches' social justice advocacy agency, The General Board of Church & Society. In this capacity, Hilary advocated for the national and international United Methodist Churches' public policy agenda affecting a wide range of civil rights and civil liberties issues including preserving equal opportunity programs such as affirmative action, securing equal high quality public education for all Americans, guaranteeing greater access to higher education and strengthening our nation's historically Black colleges and universities, abolition of the death penalty, reforming the criminal justice system, voting rights protection and expansion, gun control and a host of other social justice policy concerns.
Hilary serves on a number of national boards of directors including, The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, The Center for Democratic Renewal, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute among many others.

Playing an integral role in the crafting and final passage of such crucial federal legislation as the Civil Rights Act of 1991, Hilary was also instrumental in ushering through to passage, The Civil Rights Restoration Act, The Violence Against Women Act, The Hate Crimes Statistics Act, The Native American Free Exercise of Religion Act, The National Voter Registration Act, The National Assault Weapons Ban, The Brady Handgun Law, Reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act, the Help America Vote Act and many other crucial laws and policy measures affecting the quality of our lives and equality in our society.
Hilary has humbly received a number of awards and recognitions for his unwavering dedication to civil rights and the mission and goals of the NAACP. Among the many awards to which he is most grateful for receiving, Mr. Shelton is the proud recipient of the National NAACP Medgar W. Evers Award for Excellence, one of the highest honor presented by the national NAACP for Outstanding Service, Sincere Dedication and Commitment to the Mission of the NAACP, the Israeli Embassy and Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism's 2005 Civil Rights Leadership Award, as well as the Congressional Black Caucus Chairman's Award In Recognition and Appreciation for Dedication, Leadership and Commitment to Advancing the Cause of Civil Rights for All Americans.

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, to a family of 6 brothers and sisters, Hilary holds degrees in political science, communications, and legal studies from Howard University in Washington, D.C., the University of Missouri St. Louis, and Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, respectively.
Hilary presently lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife Paula Young Shelton and their three sons, masters Caleb Wesley, Aaron Joshua, and Noah Ottis Young Shelton.

Attached is a copy of Senate Bill 1014 & 730 that was signed into law
Response and Talking Points By Rev. Gill Ford, NAACP Director Region IV.

You should find after opening the pdf document pages to help you review and better be able to speak to the concerns expressed about the bill. I have also outlined below pages that have been marked and issues for your review. If you should find other points please forward them to be included.

The changes in this law will impact how we do our work also, especially voter registration.

Page 6
- speaks to the changes involving photo identifications for first time absentee ballot requests. Important: If an individual did not submit a copy of their photo id with their application for a mail in ballot they must include a copy with their ballot.

Page 7 - responsibility of the "election authority" to mail to voter's a "voter notification card no later than ninety days prior to the date of a primary or general election for federal office"

Page 8 & 9 - registering with the Secretary of State as a "voter registration solicitor". Note on page 9, under section 4, there is a legal consequence for failing to register. Registration starts August 28, 2006.

Page 17 & 18 - establishes the forms of identification needed at polling site, only 4 forms of id will be accepted, MO State identification card, driver license (must be current), passport or federal government identification card with an expiration date.

Page 18 & 19 - no photo identification Section 2 (page 18, line 47) states that the "election authority shall post a clear and conspicuous notice" explaining that the voter can return to the polling site after retrieving their id and "vote a regular ballot after election judges have verified the voter's identity and eligibility). Also page 19, line 54 says "the election judge may also inform such voters by written or oral communication" that they "shall be given priority in any voting line" (line 58) if they go get their id and return. The term "may" means this notification appear to be optional.

Page 19 & 20 (line 60 through 108) Provisional ballot guidelines

Page 20 (line 109) states the "secretary of state shall provide advance notice of the personal identification requirements" to include using the media, however no funds were allocated or additional monies were provided.

Page 20 & 21 (line 118 through 126) addresses free state issued identification cards at Department of Revenue locations where State Identifications are issued. Important: the must sign an "affidavit averring that the applicant does not have any other form of photographic personal identification that meets the requirements" and also provide proof of lawful presence (U.S. certified birth certificate, U.S. passport, etc), of identity (social security number) and residency (recent: utility bill, bank statement, pay check, etc.)

Page 22 (line 183) Provisional ballots after November 1, 2008. Please note line 188 which states a person can secure a provisional ballot if they can secure "an affidavit which is also signed by two supervising election judges, one from each major political party, who attest that they have personal knowledge of the identity of the voter". Otherwise a person must provide the listed documentation.

Page 24 & 25 (line 32 through 39) "If the voter's eligibility cannot be immediately established by examining the precinct register, the election judge shall contact the election authority. If the election authority cannot immediately establish that the voter is registered and eligible to vote at the polling place upon examination of the Missouri voter registration system, or if the election judge is unable to make contact with the election authority immediately, the voter shall be notified that the voter is entitled to a provisional ballot" A very important clarification must be determined is if the ballot will or will not allow them to vote on local issues in their community.

Page 27 thru 30 provides how provisional ballots are to be handled

Page 31 (line 258 & 259) is a clear blurring of the lines that separate government "no state court shall have jurisdiction to extend polling hours established by law". Should there ever be a repeat of the problems experienced in the 2000 elections in St. Louis a plan or strategy will need to be in place.

Page 34 (line 19 through 21) allows for young people under the age of 18 to accompany their parent(s), grandparent or guardian into the voting booth.

Page 42 thru 44 removes 115.126 to establish plans for implementing early voting in presidential election years in Missouri

Page 44 removes 155.223 that provided citizens the right to appeal to the courts when a voter's name has been removed from the registration records by an election authority.