Video store, NAACP joining in drive to register area voters

September 19, 2000|By Laurie Willis | Laurie Willis,SUN STAFF

Blockbuster Video and the NAACP are teaming up to register voters.

At Blockbuster stores across the country, volunteers with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People will register people to vote in the November presidential election.

In Baltimore, NAACP volunteers will be at the Blockbuster store at 6400 Reisterstown Road from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today through Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday.

Yesterday, 15 people registered to vote within the first two hours, said Jennifer Skipper, sales marketing manager for Blockbuster.

Skipper said the Baltimore NAACP and Blockbuster hope to register 500 people this week.

NAACP volunteers have been working for 15 months to register voters. Last week, volunteers in Washington registered voters outside a taping of the nationally syndicated "Tom Joyner Morning Show."

In July 1999 at the civil rights group's annual meeting in New York, President Kweisi Mfume announced an ambitious goal of registering 4 million new voters before Oct. 13, the cutoff to vote in the Nov. 7 election.

NAACP officials have dubbed the voter registration effort "Lift Every Voice & Vote," a play on "Lift Every Voice and Sing," a song written by James Weldon Johnson that is considered the black national anthem.

G. I. Johnson, president of the Baltimore of the NAACP, said he is excited about the partnership with Blockbuster.

"Because Blockbuster reaches so many people on a daily basis, this is a tremendous opportunity for us to encourage more citizens to register to vote," Johnson said. "We appreciate Blockbuster's consistent efforts to positively affect communities through its stores."

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