The Black Political Empowerment Project (B-PEP) teams hit the streets of Pittsburgh the last few months, making sure people registered to vote before last week's deadline and the group[ thinks it did a fairly good job.
Celeste Taylor, B-PEP Voting Rights Community Organizer, said they sent teams to register voters in the Hill District, at Pittsburgh churches, and the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC).
She said they were most successful at CCAC where they registered more than 600 voters.
Taylor said people registering were confused by the ongoing controversy about the Voter ID law.
“And one thing about this work is you want to have people be encouraged,” said Taylor. “You want to help them vote, not hurt them in a way where they don’t feel like voting at all.”
Taylor said she isn’t yet sure how many voters they registered in total, but she believes the number is in the thousands.
She said they relied heavily on passing out literature to educate new voters on the Voter ID law.
“And each time the law changed because the Secretary of State would add something, change something we would literally have to change our materials.”
While past voters will not have to show a state-approved ID to cast a ballot in the general election, people voting for the first time on November 6th will be required to bring identification. A full list of acceptable identification can be found on the votesPA website.
Taylor said they also directed those who were still confused to the 866-Our-Vote, a hotline administered by the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
She said, now that it’s done with voter registration activities, B-PEP will move on to its Get Out to Vote and Election Protection efforts.