Voter registration in the black community is down nearly 7% since 2010, the NAACP warns, adding that it is now fighting against a continuing decline brought by restrictive voter ID laws passed through state legislatures across the country.
In what Marvin Randolph, NAACP senior vice president for campaigns, called a "coordinated response to coordinated attacks on voting rights," the civil rights organization launched a full-scale registration drive in Georgia last week in an effort to register hundreds of thousands of young, black voters.
Randolph, along with “Rock the Vote” President Heather Smith, joined MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts on Thursday to share their plans to target the estimated 18 million newly eligible voters who have turned 18 years old since the last presidential election.
Though both young and minority voters turned out in record numbers for President Obama's 2008 presidential election, many Democrats worry election turnout for both groups, typically voter strongholds for the party, will be curbed by voter ID laws.
"There are laws on the books all across the nation that are changing the ability of people to come to the polls and simply cast their ballots without having to show photo IDs," Randolph said.
Roughly 11% of Americans do not possess government-issued photo identification, according to a report by New York University's Brennan Center for Justice, and would thereby be ineligible to vote. That amounts to over 21 million citizens, the Center says.