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Voter Registration Drive Planned

Less than a week before the registration deadline for Maryland's Feb. 12 primary, a coalition of civil rights, political and religious leaders announced plans today to hold a voter registration campaign on the upcoming Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday weekend.

The registration deadline for the primary is 9 p.m., Jan. 22.

"Eternal God, we come in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr," prayed Pastor Michael Turner, who hosted the press conference at the Faith Missionary Baptist Church in Capital Heights yesterday. The event brought together the NAACP, Democratic and Republican party leaders, fraternities and sororities and a coalition of African American and Latino leaders.

"The right to vote is one of the greatest freedoms and liberties that we have, but not everybody exercises that right," said the Rev. Jamilah Wood, pastor of Cornerstone AME Church in LaPlata and Vice President of the Partnership for Renewal in Southern and Central Maryland (PRISCM). "We have become apathetic, we don't teach people the legacy that Dr. King left."

Gustavo Torres, executive director of Casa de Maryland, said, "The African American and the Latino community are working together to ensure that we are going to register as many people as we can for the primary and the general election. It is very essential that we work together."

The groups plan to fan out fan out across Montgomery, Prince George's, Charles, St. Mary's and Anne Arundel counties this weekend.

While the airwaves are filled with people with various opinions on the national and local elections, Woods said anyone who is not registered to vote by next week is just blowing hot air.

"You can't talk about Hillary or Barack or Romney or McCain if you don't take the opportunity to vote," Wood said. "We are going door to door this weekend and every weekend in District 4 because it is very underrepresented when it comes to voting."

The groups also announced that on Feb. 4, the NAACP will be hosting a candidates forum at Prince George's Community Colleges for candidates running in the 4th, 5th and 8th congressional district primaries.

-- Hamil R. Harris

By Anne Bartlett  |  January 16, 2008; 4:36 PM ET
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The picture of this event was printed on Page B3 of the 1/17/2008 issue of the Washington Post. The Gentleman in the center of the picture speaking at the podium is misidentified.

He is not Mykel Harris. Rather, that is Henry Hailstock of the Montgomery County NAACP. I hope this is corrected in tomorrow's print edition.

Posted by: Adam in Bethesda | January 17, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

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