WATCH: Will Black people step up and step out to the polls for the midterm elections?
There’s nearly a month to go before the 2018 midterm elections and thankfully, there are a number of promising candidates on ballots throughout the country who can have a positive impact on the Black community.
If Florida, if Gubernatorial candidate, Andrew Gillum, wins the race for governor he will be the first Black governor in the state’s history; Georgia Gubernatorial candidate, Stacey Abrams, is the first Black woman to win the Georgia Democratic gubernatorial primary and if she wins, she’ll be the nations first Black woman governor; and Letitia James out of New York City made history with her win in the attorney general Democratic primary and is on her way to becoming the first Black woman ever elected statewide.
Even with all this going on, there’s still a major concern that Black voters won’t show up to the polls because we are convinced that our voices aren’t being heard, changes will never be made and an overall misconception that our votes don’t count. Not to mention, there are other systemic issues like efforts to suppress the Black vote by prohibiting formally incarcerated people from voting or new and confusing voter ID laws.
According to Pew Research Center, during the presidential election, “the Black voter turnout rate declined for the first time in 20 years in a presidential election, falling to 59.6 percent in 2016 after reaching a record-high 66.6 percent in 2012.”
There are many ongoing efforts to encourage Black people to register to vote including former First Lady, Michelle Obama’s, initiative “When We All Vote” and the NAACP’s “Power of 5” campaign, which asks each person to register five people to vote and then get those five people to go with you to the polls.
With all that going on, are Black people energized enough to show our political significance on November 6? TheGrio took to the streets of New York City and here’s what we found out.