The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Rachel Talbot Ross
(207) 210-1052

NAACP President CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous to Lead Voter Registration Drive at Maine Correctional Facilities


NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous will be leading a
voter registration and NAACP membership drive in the Maine State Prison
and the Bolduc Correctional Facility.

"The goal of the criminal
corrections system is to educate, inform and better prepare prisoners
for when they come home. Civic engagement is vital to cities, town's
states and the nation as a whole. The NAACP is committed to ensuring
that every American has the right to vote and the opportunity to vote,"
stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. "Casting a vote,
whether it be for President of the United States, Governor of Maine or
for ballot measures is a fundamental right in this country. All too
often people who are incarcerated lose their voice, their chance to
vote, and their chance to be a part of our electoral process."

and Vermont are the only two states that allow prisoners to cast
ballots, a right that has existed since Maine became a state in 1820.
The NAACP, in cooperation with the Maine Civil Liberties Union and the
political party officials, are working to make sure that prisoners can
exercise that right guaranteed under Maine law.

It is not only
those behind bars who are barred from voting in most other states.
Former prisoners and those on parole are denied the franchise in many
states. According to estimates from the American Civil Liberties Union,
more than 5 million people are disenfranchised because of their current
or previous incarceration. That fact puts America in a minority among
Western democracies, which mostly restore voting rights to people who
have served their sentences.

WHO: NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous and NAACP Portland Branch

WHAT: Statewide Voter Registration Drive

WHEN: Tuesday, September 29th; 4:00 PM



807 Cushing Road

Warren, ME 04864

Founded Feb. 12. 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest, largest and most widely recognized grassroots-based civil rights organization. Its more than half-million members and supporters 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.