WASHINGTON–The NAACP and the National Education Association (NEA) are teaming up to register hundreds of thousands of voters before the 2012 elections.

Over the past weekend, NAACP field organizers engaged local NEA activists in a two-day training with workshops focused on voter registration/activation tools. Participants also attended a session on such new voter suppression laws as cuts to early voting and strict government-issued voter photo ID requirements that could prevent millions of eligible voters from casting a ballot.

The people most affected by these laws are disproportionately people of color, women, seniors, blue-collar workers and students, according to the NAACP.

“This partnership between NEA and NAACP on voter rights is part of a shared social agenda that will reach beyond the ballot box in November,” said Becky Pringle, NEA secretary-treasurer.

“We’ll continue to work as partners, combining our influence and power to fight for job programs, economic justice and fair housing, and adequate and equitable funding of public education.”

“In the last two years, more states have passed more laws pushing more voters out of the ballot box than at any time since the rise of Jim Crow,” stated NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous. “The extremists behind these laws know that the right to vote is the gateway to protecting so many of the other rights we care about, including the right to quality public schools for the next generation.”

“But we can stop these attacks and protect our rights by voting,” Jealous said. “That is why we have partnered with the NEA in these voter registration, education, and protection efforts–to ensure that our voices are heard and our votes are counted on Election Day and for years to come.”

NEA educator/activists will join with NAACP volunteers on the ground in registration and activation efforts in seven key states–Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio and Virginia.