The organisation will this week present evidence to the UN high commissioner on human rights of what it contends is a conscious attempt to "block the vote" on the part of state legislatures across the US. Next March the NAACP will send a delegation of legal experts to Geneva to enlist the support of the UN human rights council.
The NAACP contends that the America in the throes of a consciously conceived and orchestrated move to strip black and other ethnic minority groups of the right to vote. William Barber, a member of the association's national board, said it was the "most vicious, co-ordinated and sinister attack to narrow participation in our democracy since the early 20th century".
In its report, Defending Democracy: Confronting Modern Barriers to Voting Rights in America, the NAACP explores the voter supression measures taking place particularly in southern and western states.
Fourteen states have passed a total of 25 measures that will unfairly restrict the right to vote, among black and Hispanic voters in particular.
The new measures are focused – not coincidentally, the association insists – in states with the fastest growing black populations (Florida, Georgia, Texas and North Carolina) and Latino populations (South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee). The NAACP sees this as a cynical backlash to a surge in ethnic minority voting evident in 2008.
In that year, black and Hispanic voters turned out in record numbers, partly in a wave of enthusiasm for Barack Obama. More than 2 million extra black voters turned out over 2004, an increase of 15%.
Among Hispanics, the upturn was even more pronounced. Two million additional voters attended the polls – a rise of 28% on the previous presidential election.
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