- Tuesday afternoon, members of the NAACP condemned the arrest of a Tallahassee woman for alleged voter fraud.
- Members said clarity is needed for voter eligibility laws.
- The NAACP called on the Florida Department of State's Division of Elections to establish a new check box for felons seeking voter registration.
The Executive Committee of the Tallahassee Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) held a press conference on October 9, 2023 to strongly condemn the charges brought against Marsha Ervin, resident of Tallahassee, Florida, accused of felony voter fraud.
Ms. Ervin's arrest in connection with the 2020 General Election and the 2022 Primary Election highlights the urgent need for clarity in our voter eligibility laws, especially for individuals with prior felony convictions.
The charges against Ms. Ervin, age 69, include one count of submitting false voter registration information and two counts of voting as an ineligible elector, all classified as third-degree felonies. These allegations stem from her alleged false claims of voting eligibility while on probation as a convicted felon in Florida.
The NAACP's Executive Committee demands the immediate dropping of charges against Ms. Ervin, recognizing the complexity of her case and the lack of clear information regarding her voting rights after her release from prison. Addressing the intricacies of cases like Ms. Ervin's is crucial, as it underscores the need for clear guidance to individuals with prior felony convictions about their voting rights upon reintegration into society.
In response to this situation, the NAACP calls on the Florida Department of State's Division of Elections to establish a new check box for felons seeking voter registration. This check box would allow for additional verification of eligibility without the risk of arrest in case of errors.
This supplementary review process aims to prevent unintentional violations of voting regulations and ensure that eligible individuals have the opportunity to exercise their fundamental right to vote.
Attorney Mutaqee Akbar, legal representative of Ms. Ervin and President of the Tallahassee Branch of the NAACP, has voluntarily recused himself from participating in the NAACP’s Executive Committee's decision to issue this statement, ensuring transparency and impartiality.