In the historic black areas of Waco, Texas, the general turnout for this presidential election year was raised by the epidemic.
Gone is the day-to-day party with DJs and grills full of barbecues at the first polling station at a historic black college. Organizers have unveiled an event called “Souls to the Polls” which once saw church vans full of voters and decorated for the event. The knock on the door was replaced by 5,000 posters erected on the doorsteps reminding people to vote.
However, long-standing political activists in the African-American community in this central Texas city said their efforts had gained momentum for President Donald Trump. He and other Republicans have called for a review of voting and are demanding postal ballots in Texas and elsewhere this year to prevent allegations of voter fraud. Black voters, said residents and activists, described the actions as an attempt to stop them. Their response was that out of record numbers in the early voting in parts of Waco.
“From what I’ve seen, it annoys Black voters,” said Linda Lewis, director of political involvement in the local chapter of the NAACP, the country’s largest human rights organization. At the East Waco campus, 7,571 people voted in the first two weeks of voting – more than 5,155 showed up in the entire 2016 election year, polling records show.
In August, the NAACP launched a campaign to unite so-called “lowly” Black voters – people who had registered to vote, but did not vote in the most recent election round or in several election rounds – in many provinces with a view to increasing the number of blacks by more than 5%. of 2016.
In Waco, Lewis and others said they were adapting their ways to the epidemic. Instead of dinner, the promoters offer a boxed lunch. In a city that does not have adequate public transportation, some groups use applications to provide transportation to voters. Lewis, 74, confirms that older voters are not left behind, planning a single ride in people’s cars in an effort he called the “Big Mama’s Lift Service.”
“For Black voters, it has always been life or death for us,” he said. “But life or death for everyone now.”
African and American voters forcibly reintroduce Democrats to U.S. elections, and their vote will be crucial to the party’s efforts to elect Joe Biden and re-control the U.S. Senate. Biden has 77 points leading Trump among Black voters, according to a recent Ipsos poll conducted on October 6-20, which also found that 79% disagreed with Trump’s performance in office.
Black voters are now tasked with rescuing Biden’s campaign; the former vice-president struggled at the start of contesting competitions this year before securing a major victory in South Carolina, run by African Americans familiar with his time alongside Barack Obama, the country’s first black president. Progressives and Democrats say they are not taking anything lightly this year.
On Friday, Camel Harris, a Biden runner, appeared at a historic black college in Atlanta. On Saturday, Black motorcyclists gathered on the streets of Philadelphia, while Black cunning and leading organizations led the ‘Strolls to the Polls’ events in North Carolina. The Biden campaign sponsors “Shop Talk” events involving Black men.
“We know as a Black community what is at stake and we will be reflected in the abundance of history,” said Ashley Allison, director of the national coalition for the Biden campaign.
At the same time, there are signs of weakness in the Black support for Biden. Political involvement, which is measured by the number of people who say they are “confident” to vote in elections, has been less clear to African Americans since March, according to a Ipsos poll. And African Americans don’t seem to support Biden more than Clinton in 2016.
Trump, meanwhile, wants to pull off enough Black support from Biden to make a difference in war zones like Florida. Trump has cleverly declared that he has done more for black Americans than any other president since Abraham Lincoln. Other studies show that he has joined Black and African American black men, in contrast to older voters, such as his struggles with the anti-establishment message.
Trump has encouraged the pre-epidemic economy which saw black unemployment hit the hardest. He described his role in the criminal justice reform movement and criticized Biden’s support for the 1990 Criminal Justice Act, which introduced tougher penalties for non-violent drug offenses, which Biden recently mistakenly called.
“For decades, Democrats have made empty promises to the black community and received the benefits of a black vote without saying a word,” said Katrina Pierson, Trump’s 2020 senior adviser.
VOTING ‘UNDER ALL THE ODDS’
Black voters fell in love with a host of political action committees, data technology companies and progressive parties, and traditional efforts led by party and church committees.
More Than a Vote, a team founded by athletes and artists including Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, donates $ 15 coupons to Lyft riders at polling stations in stadiums in five war-torn cities: Atlanta, Charlotte, Detlotit, Houston and Orlando. The group also co-sponsored the “First When All Vote” program for First Lady’s first lady to provide food, music, protective equipment and free legal aid at the first polling stations.
Yvette Simpson, chief executive of Democracy for America, said the progressive party was using text messages to target 1.7 million people, especially Black and Latin voters in thirteen war zones with a simple message: “Your right to vote is in jeopardy,” Simpson said. .”We need you to exercise that right anyway, here’s the information you need to do that.”
Activist groups, however, remain unmoved by the disruption of the epidemic in traditional attempts to pull out of the polls. In Michigan – where a lack of interest among Black voters in the 2016 Democratic Alliance presidential election Hillary Clinton allowed Trump to win a landslide victory – the coalition launched a campaign to register 100,000 colored voters this year. It lasted only 20,000.
“We often go from house to house, campaign, go to parties, go to grocery stores and smugglers’ places to register people,” said Tameka Ramsey, co-director of Michigan Voices, a group that was not involved in the campaign. None of that happened. ”
In Michigan, 2016 is still attracting Democrats. Voting in Wayne County, which includes Detroit and the country’s largest black voter turnout, was rigged by 37,000 votes that year from 2012. Trump eventually won Michigan by less than 11,000 votes.
This year’s first show points to more engagement. As of Monday, more than 347,000 Wayne County voters had voted, more than three times the number from the same constituency in 2016.
BlackPAC, a left-wing political committee trying to mobilize black voters, has relied on a massive telephone campaign since the outbreak of the coronavirus. Making communication a challenge, says Adrianne Shropshire, the group’s executive director. But he said responding voters were already eager for negotiations, especially with postal voting mechanics and the recent changes to the U.S. Postal Service which has reduced delivery.
In North Carolina, where African Americans accounted for one-fifth of all voters, more than 690,000 Black voters voted by post or public vote on October 26, according to data compiled by the US Elections Project, an information center based at the University of Florida.
That’s almost equal to the number that voted at the beginning of the entire 2016 year, according to data provided by J. Michael Bitzer, a professor of political science and history at Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina, is studying the voting system. Trump won North Carolina in 2016, but the current voting rate reflects the deadening temperature there.
The first tallies in Georgia, another Southern province with a history of racial barriers to voting, also indicate a faster Black voter turnout than recorded levels four years ago, according to data from the Secretary of State.
SURGE IN TEXAS
Voting law wars have swept the country this year, but no place is more important than Texas, which has been ruled by the Republic for decades. Trump defeated Texas by nine points in 2016, but recent polls show Trump and Biden in an unexpectedly difficult race.
Texas already has one of the strongest voting laws in the country and prohibits postal voting especially for the elderly and disabled. This year, Republicans are fighting Democrats’ efforts to allow more Texts to vote by post during the epidemic on the grounds that they will promote fraud.
In Harris County, where about 20% of the 4.7 million population is Black, Clerk County Chris Collins, an African American, has found other ways to increase access to voting, namely by opening 120 early polling stations across the region – three times the number four years ago. The turn is moving towards the region, which includes the city of Houston.
Ida Hammonds, a retired 72-year-old hairdresser in Houston, said she grew up hearing her father’s stories about voting taxes and other methods used to secure Black voters’ rights. Although eligible to vote by post in Texas, he then voted Sunday morning to make sure it would be counted.