Black lawyers urge involvement in election protection efforts

Organization hosts Booker in recent webinar

Lisa Olivia Fitch | 9/24/2020, midnight

The National Bar Association (NBA) recently conducted a webinar to urge members and associates to help get out the vote.

“It’s not a time for us to rest and think we should just vote,” NBA President CK Hoffler said. “Lawyers in our organizations around the country are stepping up to the plate.”

The NBA was founded in 1925 and is the nation’s oldest and largest national network of predominantly African-American attorneys and judges. It represents the interests of approximately 66,000 lawyers, judges, law professors, and law students. The organization founded its “Election Protection” program in 2000.

“There are battles going on everywhere,” said Barbara Arnwine, who established Election Protection. She urged members and associates to become field volunteers, helping to register voters, monitor the polls, become rapid response attorneys, provide voter education or sit on telephone hotlines to answer voter’s queries. “There’s no greater feeling than when you handle these questions.”

Sen. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) agreed with his fellow lawyers during the webinar.

“If you are not involved… you are part of the problem,” Booker said, noting that if there’s a hesitation to get out into the community, viewers could at least make a donation to Fair Fight, the organization which promotes fair elections and provides voter education.

“Do something,” Booker added. “At the minimum, ensure that others have that right in the most pivotal election in our lifetime.”

Booker stressed the point that in addition to the presidency, several senate seats are up for election in November.

“We’ve got to make sure that we are involved,” Booker said. “Not to just focus on Kamala and Joe.”

Booker feels that votes for democratic candidates could turn the tide for stalled legislation, such as the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.

“Should we take control of the senate, I am confident that it will go to Joe Biden’s desk,” Booker said. “Critically, it will take all of us asking ourselves ‘what have I done today for this moment leading to election day"