Civil and voting rights groups commended Clear Channel Corporation for agreeing to take down a number of billboards placed in predominantly African-American and Latino neighborhoods in Cleveland, Columbus, and Milwaukee. The groups had mounted a campaign over the past week to persuade Clear Channel to take down the billboards, which warned of criminal penalties for voter fraud and were designed to stigmatize and intimidate minority voters. The billboards were anonymously financed.
"This is an undeniable victory for those of us who care about protecting the right to vote," said Catherine Turcer of Ohio Common Cause. "Allowing people to intimidate voters and interfere with voting is un-American. Now it's time for Norton Outdoor to follow Clear Channel's lead and take down the anonymously funded billboards as well."
Norton Outdoor is the company that put up the billboards in the Cincinnati area. The Clear Channel billboards were in the Milwaukee, Columbus, and Cleveland markets.
According to Clear Channel's statement to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, the company finally agreed to take down the billboards because they violated their own disclosure policy and allowed the posters to go up with no disclaimer as to who had funded them. It is not yet known as to whether Norton Outdoor will be taking their billboards down as well.
"This is an inspiring victory for the communities that fought back against these billboards," said Barbara Arnwine, Executive Director of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. "Free speech is a right of all Americans, and citizens used their voice to organize and oppose this targeted suppression tactic. Clear Channel did the right thing by responding to the outcry."
"Clear Channel's decision to take down the intimidating billboards is a victory for free, fair and accessible elections," added Brenda Wright, Vice President for Legal Strategies at Demos. "Norton Outdoor should follow suit and stop promoting fear tactics that discourage eligible Americans from exercising their right to vote."
Common Cause, Demos and the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights are part of the nonpartisan Election Protection Coalition, which last week started a campaign to counter the anonymously-financed billboards with their own pro-voting messages. One billboard urges residents to "Stand Up and Have Your Say – VOTE." A second set of billboards reminds voters that "When We Vote, We Are All Equal." The billboards also include the coalition's voter hotline number, 1-866-OUR-VOTE, which provides voter information and answers to questions on voter registration and ID requirements and election procedures. The coalition will also have field programs on Election Day at polling places across the country.
Election Protection supports voters through the national Election Protection Hotline, 866-OUR-VOTE, a voter information hotline staffed by trained volunteers. This year, Election Protection also launched the Election Protection Smartphone App, which any voter can use to check their registration status, look up their polling place, or access voter education materials. Voters can download the Election Protection Smartphone App by texting "OurVote" to 90975. Voters can also visit www.866OurVote.org, which contains state-specific election and voting information.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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