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Attempts to suppress voting irks ex-judge Nate Jones

Published: Sat, October 13, 2012 @ 12:10 a.m.

NAACP must continue its fight, Jones says at Freedom Fund Banquet

By William K. Alcorn



Retired U.S. Sixth District Court of Appeals Judge Nathaniel R. Jones urged a local NAACP chapter to resist the modern movement to restrict voting rights.

The threat “is summed up in your theme for this occasion ... ‘Your Power, Your Decision — Vote,’” said Jones, a Youngstown native.

He was the keynote speaker at Friday’s 94th Freedom Fund Banquet of the Youngstown Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

A nationally known civil rights activist and leader who was general counsel of the national NAACP for 10 years, Jones said the new movement to restrict voting rights by requiring photo IDs and passing laws restricting early voting is a direct reaction to the election of President Barack Obama in 2008 — “an event many of us never thought we would live to see.”

Though some claimed it was proof the nation had moved to a post-racial phase, Jones disagreed.

He said one of the reasons he left the bench was to be free to speak his mind about what he described as “disturbing trends” developing in the U.S. Supreme Court decisions after the appointment of justices “who hold a soft spot for states’ rights.”

It was states’ rights doctrine that fostered and maintained America’s segregated institutions and protected individuals and groups who intimidated and violated blacks, he said.

“The antidote for that is for the NAACP to intensify the fight it has waged ever since 1909 for the unfettered right to vote,” he said.

The right to vote, which people fought and died to achieve, is at the root of the power of black Americans, minorities and women to effect change, and that is why it is being attacked so vociferously, he said.

Progress in education and housing and affirmative action occurred because people were gaining political power through voting, he added.

Speaking before the banquet, Jones, who was educated in Youngstown public schools and at Youngstown State University, opined that the support of education vouchers and charter or private schools, along with the recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider whether to limit or eliminate affirmative action are also attacks on the social progress of blacks and other minorities.

The Freedom Fund Banquet is the major fundraiser for the Youngstown NAACP chapter located at 16 Wick Ave.

Among the 500-member chapter’s activities are voter registration, partnership with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in preparing people to file workplace-discrimination complaints, and maintaining a relationship with employers to try to match minorities with jobs available, said Steven E. Mickel, president of the local organization.

The federal courthouse facing Wick Avenue in downtown Youngstown is named in honor of Jones.


1grazor50(56 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

This idea of early location voting is a joke and waste of government resources. Early voting is not that hard without an ID also. It is called an absentee ballot. You request it, fill it in,and return it ,, period.
Actual ballot voting should be done on 1 day and 1 day only, you must go to the assigned poll, and cast your ballot.
Some complain about the showing an ID to prove who you are, those that complain have something to hide, Identification is required every where by this government , everyone knows that also, but want to not have to show it to vote, they say they cannot afford it, If its free, they should be able to afford it and if it costs money, the money they are spending to get it comes from the people anyway as in Government entitlement money. Am tired of those that claim everything is to stop OBAMA supporters, Believe me,if OBAMA was as good as some claim, there would be no reason for all of this voting confusion, AMERICAN PEOPLE LOVE A WINNER, and would back him every where, the problem exists because his presidency is a failure in most areas of this county and the entitlement and union backers love his methods for the special treatment of equality through SOCIALISM he is offering.

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2HonestAbe(273 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

It would help if you actually read the above article instead of going on your grammatically-challenged rant. First of all, sending in an absentee ballot isn't free. The return postage is something like three bucks. Plus, you have to take it to the post office to get the postage affixed to the return envelope. What if you are elderly and don't have the means to get to a post office? What if you just can't afford the return postage? Personally, I would love to be able to vote from the privacy of my own home via computer/phone/email. And voting on one designated day is simply archaic. The above writer goes on and on about what a horrible president Obama is. What difference does that make? That's not the point of the article!! Why are you so afraid of letting people vote?

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3Klink(36 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

The country had gone over 200 years with no ID for voting. The only reason it is important now after 200+ years is that the current powers to be want to suppress the votes that they don't want.

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4commoncitizen(961 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

IF you lived 200 years ago they probably didn't have photo ID's. Now you have "dead' people voting and people voting more than once. If you have nothing to hide --show your ID.

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5tnmartin(233 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Perhaps the NUMEROUS cases of voter fraud, oddly enough little reported in the Vindy, have been at least part of the reason. I see, interestingly, that a staffer for Obama was just captured on video giving directions for voting in two states at the same time in the upcoming election. Or the NAACP official in Arkansas who'll be doing time for MASSIVE election frauds, something in excess of 100 cases of it. Or the unhappy fact that in excess of 8,000 illegal aliens voted in the 2008 election in Colorado alone.

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6HonestAbe(273 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Voter fraud is NOT a problem!! Again I ask, what are you people so afraid of?

"Because voter fraud is essentially irrational, it is not surprising that no credible evidence suggests a voter fraud epidemic. There is no documented wave or trend of individuals voting multiple times, voting as someone else, or voting despite knowing that they are ineligible. Indeed, evidence from the microscopically scrutinized 2004 gubernatorial election in Washington State actually reveals just the opposite: though voter fraud does happen, it happens approximately 0.0009% of the time. The similarly closely-analyzed 2004 election in Ohio revealed a voter fraud rate of 0.00004%. National Weather Service data shows that Americans are struck and killed by lightning about as often."

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7TheLizardKing(6 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Quick question to the "Racist" Conspiracy Theorists:
Which is more important:
A) Buying a bottle of vodka
B) Voting in an election

Clearly the answer is B, but you need to show ID to buy the vodka !! But no ID to vote?!! And please explain to me how, how in the world this is racist. If you went to an Obama rally, guess what..YOU NEED an ID TO GET IN!!! Please stop the black/white garbage. It only perpetuates the nonsense.

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8TheLizardKing(6 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

$3.00 to mail in absentee ?? Really..There would still be whining and complaining if it was prepaid ! Get over it people. Just vote on election day, you know the way 90% or more Americans do,

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