Interview with Charles Butts

What was your strategy for voter registration? I know voter registration was an important part of the effort. Could you talk a little bit about your strategy, you know, how that worked and any particular memories you might have.


Well, ah, voter registration ah, was very important in ah, in 1967 to capitalize on this feeling that it could be done in the Black community. Ah, a scheme that we came upon ah, was to have ah, what I called the non-registered voter petition. This served several functions. One, to involve people who wanted to get involved in the campaign early on. In a sense, test them and give them something to do to ah, for us to be able to measure whether they would be successful workers. And what we asked them to do was to fill out, I think it was a petition only called for five names of people who were not registered to vote. And this was well prior to the registration deadline. That of course gave us a targeted list that we could go ah, and attempt to get registered. And we met with a lot of success.