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NAACP hosts GOTV phone bank

4/11/2013, 4:21 p.m.
NAACP looks for help with conservative poll watchers

Bill Lynch Associates LLC (BLA), in partnership with the NAACP, oversaw the organization's massive "Get Out the Vote" phone banking operation at its Northeast Region Call Center in New York City. The phone banking is the culmination of the NAACP's "This is My Vote Campaign," a months-long initiative to encourage voter participation and combat the GOP's aggressive tactics to suppress voting rights.

The center, one of five across the country, made over 200,000 calls to voters. Most calls were to New York and Pennsylvania, though NAACP members and volunteers also contacted voters throughout the nation.

Although New York was not considered a battleground state, having an operation in the state proved critical. The damage caused by Hurricane Sandy resulted in last-minute changes in polling site locations across New York City, necessitating voters to check if theirs had changed in a matter of days.

Complicating matters further, one day before the election, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order granting displaced voters the right to cast ballots in the presidential race anywhere in the state. Unfortunately, voters still needed to vote in their own district in order to vote for their congressional and state representatives.

Explaining these abrupt, nuanced developments to voters became the task of the phone banking operation.

BLA associate LaMon Bland noted, "I am glad that NAACP National President Ben Jealous and New York State Conference President Hazel Dukes afforded us an opportunity to work on this important project. Not only were we helping to get out the vote nationwide, we were able to provide a service to New Yorkers affected by Hurricane Sandy."