Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Conscience of Saline/Lafayette County - September 23, 2006

Health & Medicine

10 things men must know about prostate cancer By Susan Yara

At the age of 53, Joe DiBlasi, a music composer and producer who had worked with such artists as Frank Sinatra, considered himself a healthy man. He was in great physical shape and ate a fairly typical diet. And, like many men, he avoided seeing doctors...he'd managed to go without a checkup or medical test for 15 years, until his wife, Lisa, decided it was time for an appointment. MSNBC

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Judge Strikes Down Missouri Voter ID Requirement

"Law is found to be unconstitutional, and hampers election freedoms"

The NAACP legal team and its partners scored another victory in preserving the right of all Americans to cast an unfettered ballot. Yesterday a judge struck down Missouri's new voter identification law as an unconstitutional infringement on the right to vote.

Circuit Judge Richard Callahan considered two combined lawsuits claiming the requirement that demands voters show a federal or Missouri-issued photo ID at the polls was an unconstitutional burden on voters. The judge agreed, issuing an injunction halting implementation of the law and directed Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan to provide notice of the judgment to eachthe 116e116 election authorities in the state.

Once again the actions of those who would curtail and deny Americans this precious and sacred right has not stood legitimate legal challenge, said NAACP General Counsel Dennis C. Hayes. "We will continue to monitor and forcibly act against such attacks on the rights of all Americans."

Callahan said the requirement is a particularly troublesome to women and the poor because a separate Missouri law requires those obtaining or renewing a driver's license to show they are lawfully in the country, generally with a birth certificate or passport.

Those whose names have changed, such as some married women, also must provide documents verifying those changes. While the voter Identification card would be free, the underlying paperwork has a cost, which the judge found unacceptable. "The Missouri NAACP worked hard to bring attention to this unconstitutional law," said Mary Ratliff, president of the Missouri State Conference-NAACP. "We are pleased that Judge Callahan agreed with us. This law was especially burdensome for low income voters. Striking it down was the right thing to do."

Prior to 2002, voters in the state, like most of the country were generally not required to present any form of identification as a condition of voting. In 2002 the Missouri legislature required that some form of identification be presented, but allowed any one of several forms of ID readily available to virtually all registered voters. Earlier this year, the legislature further revised the election laws and eliminated many of the forms of identification that were previously acceptable and established a strict photo ID requirement essentially allowing only those photo IDs that are dated and issued by the state, its national guard or U.S. military.

In his order, Judge Callahan wrote: "Unlike the photo ID laws in most other states, the Missouri law has few real alternatives to a state issued ID, and places most of the burden on the citizen voter". "The photo ID burden placed on the voter may seem minor or inconsequential to the mainstream of our society", the judge continued. "However for the elderly, the poor, the undereducated, or otherwise disadvantaged, the burden can be great if not insurmountable, and it is those very people outside the mainstream of society who are the least equipped to bear the costs or navigate the many bureaucracies necessary to obtain the required documentation."

The judge noted that the 2006 Missouri Voter Protection Act, of which the photo ID requirement is a part, is unconstitutional and violates Missouri├é’s own constitution because it: Created impermissible additional qualifications to vote Required the payment of money to vote, in violation of the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the state constitution. Violated the prohibition on interference with the "free exercise of the right of suffrage" and requirements that all elections be free and open. Created an undue burden on the fundamental right to vote that is not narrowly tailored to meet a compelling state interest, in violation of the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the state constitution.

The NAACP was joined in the suit by Give Missourians a Raise Inc. and six other citizen plaintiffs that filed suit in Cole County Circuit Court.
The NAACP is also opposed to a provision expected to be considered by the U.S. House of Representatives in coming weeks. House Resolution 4844 would require all voters to show some form of federally-approved photo identification before being able to cast their vote by the year 2008. It would also require states to ask for documented proof of citizenship by the year 2010.

This legislation flies in the face of our right, guaranteed by the Constitution as well as the recently reauthorized 1965 Voting Rights Act, which mandates that no state or municipality shall in any way infringe on our right to vote. H.R. 4844 re-creates new obstacles in voting akin to a modern day 'poll-taxÂ' by forcing U.S citizens to pay for government approved ID that many of our most vulnerable citizens do not have or cannot easily obtain to prove their citizenship.

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

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Missouri NAACP Annual State Conference


To: Regional Director, NAACP Missouri Unit

From: Mary A. Ratliff, State Conference President

The Missouri State Annual Conference will be held Friday Starting at 12:00n and Saturday, (September 29-30), 2006 at the Hawthorn Park Hotel, 2431 North Glenstone, Springfield, MO 65803 Ph: (417 - 831-3131) - (Fax: 417 - 831-2582).

Registration begins at 12:00 noon on Friday Adult Registration fee: 30.00. Allouth Registration $30.00All Branches remember to be in good standing your assessments must be current. Your Branch assessments and further conference information will be forth coming from Ms. Willa StSecretary. Wetate Conference Seretary.We need to have every president, every officer and executive Committee member in attendance. This is a very important election year and we have many issues on the table in Missouri.

The National Board has mandated that every conference will have training components as out lined by the board during each State Conference meeting. Presidents Remember, if you are leading and nobody is following, you are not leading, you are just taking a walk. Our State conference meeting should be just as important to us as the National Convention, because WE have the opportunity to influence Our State issues.

The National Youth Director will be attending the Conference, and other National Staffiled to attend. Since we filied the Photo I.D. lawsuit, Hilary could come.

God Bless and hope to see you all in Springfield September 29 and 30th. Mary A. Ratliff, President Missouri State Conference

DRAFT Schedule:

Friday -9/29

  • 12:00 Registration begins
  • 1 -2.p.m. LConferencelative session (MO St. Conf.)
  • 3 - 5 Education Workshop
  • 6:00 Soul Food Dinner (the location of the sointernational Ministriesope InternationalMinistries, 901 N. MOospect Ave. Springfield,on the5802. The church sits onthe corner of Central and Prospect, Centrchurch'seast and west, the churchis one block east of the corner of National and Central.)

Program Saturday - 9/30

  • 9:a.m. - 3:p.m. YOUTH WORKSHOPS
  • 9:a.m - 11 Membership/Branch Administration
  • 11 - 12 Health
  • 12:00 Luncheon
  • 1:00 - 2:30 Criminal Justice
  • 2:30 Break
  • 2:30 - 4:45 Political Action
  • 4:45 - 5: 15 p.m. Legislative Session
  • 6:30 Banquet

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MEMBERSHIP IS POWER! JOIN THE NAACP TODAY. For more information, call your local NAACP branch #4069. @660886.5695 or marshallnaacp@socket.net or visit http://www.naacp.org/