Press Release • September 1, 2020

Equality NC, NC Black Alliance and Disability Rights NC Launch Voter Safety Protection Campaign

Vulnerable North Carolinians can request free PPE as they head to the polls.

RALEIGH -- As COVID-19 continues to ravage vulnerable communities across our state, Equality North Carolina, the North Carolina Black Alliance and Disability Rights North Carolina are launching a voter safety protection campaign called Safe Voter NC to provide Personal Protective Equipment for 250,000 North Carolinians from marginalized communities as they head to the polls.

Whether voting early or voting on Election Day, eligible voters that complete the PPE Kit request form on the website will receive a free single-use PPE kit by mail while supplies last. Voters are encouraged to request their free kits early.

Safe Voter NC is designed to increase voter turnout and protect marginalized voters while they visit the ballot box. LGBTQ folks, Black and Brown Americans and individuals living with disabilities are among the most disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and in need of PPE while navigating the voting process.

Kendra R. Johnson, Executive Director for Equality NC, said in a statement this morning, "LGBTQ people, especially Black and Brown folks, already experience numerous obstacles to safe and fair voting, including gerrymandering, voter suppression, and unjust voter ID laws. With the pandemic now adding a layer of health concerns for marginalized folks, we must all do our part to protect ourselves and other vulnerable Americans as we head to vote in the most important election of our lifetimes and fight for the soul of this nation."

"In 2020, we will create a space for voters to feel protected and empowered during this election cycle," said Marcus Bass, Deputy Director for North Carolina Black Alliance. "Our democracy is legitimized, only when everyone has a fair opportunity to cast their ballots. The constituents in our collective community of organizations face an unbelievable amount of opposition and suppression of their voting rights. That is why we have partnered with Equality NC and Disability Rights NC to help curb the issues that face those communities."

"All people need and deserve to exercise their right to vote," said Virginia Knowlton Marcus, Chief Executive Officer of Disability Rights North Carolina. "North Carolina Black Alliance, Equality NC and Disability Rights North Carolina are collaborating to ensure that voters who have historically been targeted and harmed by voter suppression efforts – including voters of color, disabled voters, voters with low incomes, and older voters – can safely access the polls. DRNC is proud to partner in this important work to break down barriers to voting and harness the strength of marginalized communities across North Carolina."

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