Everyone’s voice and vote should count this upcoming election year and groups like the NAACP want to make sure of it.
“Black Voices Change Lives” is their new national campaign to target infrequent Black voters. The goal is to push the importance of engaging your civic duty.
“If issues resonate with you, your vote is the opportunity to make that register,” said Bradly Hunt, the political action chair for the North Carolina NAACP.
This is why they’ve made several efforts to spread the message.
“As of last Thursday, we’ve made 12,000 phone calls into the state of North Carolina. We want to start sending text messages. We have a voting app that’s going to help us gather poll workers,” Hunt said.
According to the Pew Research Center, the Black voter turnout declined for the first time in 20 years in 2016, falling to 59.6%. In swing states like North Carolina, every vote can be critical.
“18 to 40 is the demographic that we’re trying to reach and let them know exactly how important this election is,” Hunt said.
Deena and Alexia Boone said they appreciate these efforts but can understand why Black people may not participate in elections.
“My voice doesn’t really matter. It’s my perspective, my opinion,” Alexia said.
“The system just doesn’t work for us,” Deena said.
These are points Hunt said he understood.
“That is and has been our plight. That it doesn’t matter who we vote for Democrats or Republicans, those that are progressive or conservative. We still have not seen the improvements that we deserve in history,” Hunt said.
He believes the work should continue even after you cast your ballot.
“What comes after that? What is the pivot? How do you hold those you’ve elected accountable to do the things they’ve said they’re going to do?” he said.
The NAACP is a nonpartisan group, so they welcome anyone to join in on their efforts to get people to the poles. If you want to help out, you can sign up at naacpnc.org.