Colby Rabon/Carolina Public Press

Press release from the Campaign for Southern Equality:

ASHEVILLE – The Mountain People’s Assembly, the Asheville-Buncombe chapter of the NAACP and the Campaign for Southern Equality are hosting a non-partisan Early Voting rally on Oct. 23, the first day of early voting.

“Moral March to the Polls” will take place in Pack Square Park, with voters gathering at the Vance Monument at 3:30 p.m. From 3:30 to 3:45 speakers will address the crowd about the importance of voting and discuss new voting restrictions in place for the 2014 elections. At 4 p.m., Buncombe County NAACP President Elder John Hayes and the Hillcrest High-Steppin’ Majorettes & Drum Corps will lead the march to the Board of Elections at 35 Woodfin Street.

HKonJ (Historic Thousands on Jones Street), a coalition of non-partisan groups from across the state — also known as the Moral Monday Movement — has mobilized its members to register new voters ahead of the November election and to help people get to the polls. The keynote speaker for the rally is Isaac Coleman, who will speak on the importance of voting and of access to the vote. Coleman was a Freedom Summer Organizer in Mississippi in 1964 and currently serves as an executive committee member for the Mountain People’s Assembly.

“We fought for the right to vote in Selma, in Birmingham, and all across the South in the 1960s and we’re bringing a renewed fight for right to cast a vote to North Carolina. The restrictive voting laws that have been put in place serve one purpose – to ensure that a smaller number of people are able to participate in our democratic process,” Coleman said.

The Mountain People’s Assembly, as part of the larger HKonJ Coalition, is working to increase voter registration and turnout for this year’s election in order to send a message to the General Assembly that their policies do not reflect the priorities of the people of North Carolina, according to the press release.

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Angie Newsome is the executive director and editor of Carolina Public Press. Contact her at (828) 774-5290 or e-mail her at

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