Interview with Marion Stamps

Voter registration, tell me what happened.


What happened in terms of the voter registration here is that we formed a coalition, a coalition between, uh, Slim Coleman's group, Nancy Jefferson group, my group, and, and, and another group, uh, on the south side. Got together, went to the legis--legislators and lobbied so that we could become deputy registrars because before then the only people that could register folks to vote was the folks that came at the board of elections okay. And they were not making us deputy registrars. Ah, at the time we really didn't understand why, but then once you get into the system you understand that because we lobbied, because we worked to get, become deputy registrars is the reason that we were able to go into public aid offices, unemployment offices, uh, on the street in front of Jewel's, wherever, and register folks to vote. And, and that, that was very key then and it's very key now. Because a lot of times the system, they already know how many numbers they have to win an election. They don't want those numbers to increase nor decrease because that would det--change the balance right? By us becoming deputy registers we immediately changed the balance, okay? Because now we are registering folks and it stand to reason the people that, that register you to vote are the folks that you gonna vote for. And the politicians understood that and they were very, very afraid of that because they knew that if, if the grass root community was, were the one that were out there saying to the people in the community, "Look you got to register to vote, it is your responsibility for you to be a re--a registered voter," then they also know that when we came back to those same people and said, "Okay it's time to go vote and who you, who are you supposed to be voting for?" then we changed, we then got control of the political apparatus in this town.