- - Wednesday, May 9, 2012

ATLANTA — Saying it won’t let recently enacted voter ID laws suppress turnout, the NAACP on Wednesday launched a nationwide drive to register thousands of mostly minority, student and elderly voters before the Nov. 6 elections.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People said those groups could be the ones most affected by laws requiring them to show identification before they can exercise their right to vote.

NAACP President Ben Jealous said the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization would work harder and smarter to meet the new voting requirements. He framed them as a negative reaction to historic voter turnout in 2008 that led to Barack Obama’s election as the first black U.S. president.

“Were we students of history, we would’ve expected that night, when everybody was celebrating, that we needed to be preparing for what we’re dealing with right now,” he said, referring to election night 2008. “We saw the largest, most diverse presidential electorate this country has ever seen.

“Every time that the vote has been expanded, especially for black people in this country, it has been followed by a massive backlash,” Mr. Jealous added. “We will ensure that those who intend to steal this election cannot.”

It is unclear whether or how such laws might affect voter turnout in the fall.

MINNESOTA

Rep. Bachmann becomes citizen of Switzerland

MINNEAPOLIS — Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota has been granted citizenship in Switzerland.

Mrs. Bachmann’s spokeswoman Becky Rogness said the congresswoman has been eligible for dual citizenship since she married Marcus Bachmann, who is of Swiss descent, in 1978. Ms. Rogness tells Minnesota Public Radio that some of the couple’s children wanted to exercise their eligibility for dual citizenship, so they went through the process as a family.

Mrs. Bachmann represents Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District and plans to seek re-election following her unsuccessful run for the Republican presidential nomination.

NEW YORK

Ad tries to link Obama to Ann Romney criticism

NEW YORK — An independent group backing Mitt Romney has launched a TV ad tying President Obama to negative comments about Mr. Romney’s wife by two Obama supporters.

Restore Our Future, a super PAC run by former Romney advisers, is running the ad in the battleground states of Colorado, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, New Hampshire and Ohio.

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