BY JAMES HARPER
Local candidates running for political office have been invited to participate in an open forum sponsored by the Volusia County-Daytona Beach NAACP to discuss their platforms as well as issues of importance to the community.
Cynthia Slater, NAACP president, said the organization is co-sponsoring a “Meet the Candidates Night’’ with the Daytona Beach Area Alumnae Panhellenic Association.
The forum is Tuesday, July 31, beginning at 6 p.m. at the John H. Dickerson Community Center in Daytona Beach. The forum is free and open to the public.
“The forum will give voters the opportunity to meet the candidates and learn about where they stand on issues pertinent to the growth and well-being of their community,” Slater said.
Voters go to the polls on Aug. 14 for the primary election.
Slater said sample ballots as well as a summary and explanation of all amendments will be available for the general public.
The local branch was one of the first organizations in Volusia County to register as a third-party agent and has done ongoing voter registration since last year, according to Slater.
“In partnership with the Bethune-Cookman University NAACP Chapter, Allen Chapel AME Church, the Concerned Citizens Organization and local sororities, we have worked tirelessly to register voters and collectively to date have registered almost 1,000 voters,” Slater continued.
“We will be contacting churches to encourage them to get their congregation out to the polls or vote absentee ballot.”
Early voting sites
Early voting takes place in Volusia County Saturday, Aug. 4, through Saturday, Aug. 11.
Hours for early voting will be 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. There will be no early voting on the Sunday before the primary date.
Early voting locations are: Department of Elections, Historic Courthouse, 125 W. New York Ave., DeLand; Deltona Regional Library, 2150 Eustace Ave., Deltona; Volusia County Library Center at City Island, 105 E. Magnolia Ave., Daytona Beach: Ormond Beach Regional Library, 30 S. Beach St., Ormond Beach; and the New Smyrna Beach Regional Library, 1001 S. Dixie Freeway, New Smyrna Beach.
Early voting has been cut down by Florida legislators from 10 days to eight.
Slater said there are lawsuits still pending regarding the laws passed by the Legislature last year (on early voting) and the organization is awaiting rulings.
She added that the NAACP, including civil rights and voting rights organizations Project Vote and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, have filed a brief against the state arguing that Florida is out of compliance under Section 7 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA).
Section 7 of the NVRA requires state public assistance agencies providing services such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) and Medicaid to provide voter registration services to their clients.
“The data that Florida has submitted to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission indicate an overall lack of compliance with Section 7 of the NVRA,” explained Slater.
For more information, contact the NAACP office at 386-255-3736.