Eight Million Blacks Still Not Registered To Vote

NNPA, News Report, Hazel Trice Edney Posted: Sep 02, 2008

WASHINGTON (NNPA) – Despite record numbers of voters who turned out during the presidential primaries last spring, eight million African Americans are still not registered to vote.

This according to Rick Wade, African American vote director for the Obama for America presidential campaign.

“Our principle focus has been a 50-state voter registration initiative. I think we all appreciate that if we increase the number of African American registered voters and then increase turnout and get people to the polls on Nov. 4, then Sen. Obama will be the next president of the United States,” Wade says.

Wade explains that the eight million unregistered Black voters accounts for 32 percent of eligible Black voting population nationwide.

“In 2004, African Americans made up approximately 11 percent of the overall vote nationwide. If the percentage of African Americans was a mere two-and-a-half percent higher at 13-and-a-half percent, Democrats would currently be running for re-election at this time,” he said. “For example in the state of Ohio in 2004, we lost by two percent or 100,000 votes. There were 270,000 unregistered African Americans. I use that as an illustration to show how the African American vote can make the difference in a state and across this country.So the African American vote can absolutely make the difference in this election.''

But, the Democrats are not alone in going after the Black vote. Republicans, who barely get a tenth of Black voters in presidential elections, say they are not giving up.

''The [Republican National Convention] is working to turn out voters of all races to support Sen. John McCain and all of our Republican candidates, by focusing on using a strong grassroots program that relies on neighbor to neighbor interactions, putting out surrogates on a daily basis, and registering and mobilizing voters,” says RNC spokesman Sean Conner. “Chairman Duncan has visited 38 states in the last 16 months, and our Party’s nominee has participated in important African American national events such as the NAACP conference and the National Urban League Convention. We’re looking forward to increased support from the African American community, and will compete for each vote within the various ethnic communities of our country.''

As both parties prepare for grassroots mobilization efforts at their back to back conventions (Democrats, last week of August and Republican, first week of September), non-partisan groups have intensified their efforts with grassroots campaigns year round.

Melanie Campbell, executive director of the non-partisan National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, says because of the intensity of voter registration efforts, there’s a great possibility to take voter registration to a whole new level, particularly in the Black community, by intensifying voter education and focusing on issues.

“The potential is that you will create a whole new expanded electorate. It’s something that we’ve been trying to have happen for a lot of years,” Campbell says. “Because traditionally, there’s been about 15 million people not voting in the general election. So, this has potential for that number to go down tremendously…If the trend continues, because it’s so competitive, it’s going to drive the turn out and that’s going to be across all demographics.”

The intensity of the current election and get-out-to-vote efforts have caught fire from coast to coast and doesn’t begin and end with the presidential election.

“There’s elections from the school board to the presidency that impacts your life,” Campbell says. “We know the presidency is a big deal. But, it is one of many elections that’s taking place on Nov. 4.”

Hazel Trice Edney is the NNPA editor-in-chief.

Related Articles:

DNC: Courting the Latino Vote

Some Ethnic Voters Unsure About Obama

Voters Will Lie to Pollsters about Race

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User Comments


kevin walker on Sep 17, 2008 at 10:48:32 said:

Give job fairs, gas give aways, local rap artist concerts, radio promotions at local high school games. All these events draw crowds. Use these events to get more of us registered.


Kamilah on Sep 17, 2008 at 06:28:46 said:

I am the proud mother of my 20 something, veteran daughter who wrote the following letter to her family. But I feel more people should enjoy reading what she has to say concerning the future presidential leader Senator Obama. Enjoy! (FYI, I have her Permission to submit her words) Thank you, T.C. Louisville, KY

Our duty
Family,

For a very long time I could care less about politics. I found myself making up excuse after excuse for not registering to vote. My latest grand excuse was I never wanted to make the list for jury duty. One bright and sunny day, I noticed a change in me. A change I contribute to maturity, and personal growth. I began to pay attention to my surroundings in this country. I started to see a certain class of people struggle in areas of health care, education, housing, employment, and a victim of an unspoken stain on "this" country. The stain is racism. Notice I didn't say our country. I've never felt a part of this country. But every day I find myself becoming proud to be an American. The American dream that was once just a distant dream is becoming a fast reality. My American dream is Barack OBAMA!
I feel a sense of pride, and I thank God for my ancestors and those of the civil rights movement. Those who participated in the sit-ins of the sixties. Those who pushed for de segregation. Dr. Charles Richard Drew, Dr. Guion Stewart Bluford Jr, Blanche Kelso Bruce, Crispus Attucks, Rosa Parks, James Baldwin, George Washington Carver, Martin Luther King, Aaron Douglas, Malcom X, Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey Douglass, Muhammad Ali, Shirley Chisholm, William Edward Burghardt DuBois, Dred Scott, and those who many years ago, were ripped from their homeland, and force into slavery.
How can we say thank you to our ancestor? How can we thank our grandparents? We can thank them by registering to vote. It's our DUTY, and OBLIGATION to VOTE. African Americans make up a little over 13 percent of this country, and 8 MILLION are not registered to vote. This is a staggering figure that makes me sad, and embarrassed. The last day to register is 06 Oct 2008! Please exercise your right to vote. History is being written in this country, and we all need to be a part of that. I'm not telling you who to vote for. I know who I'm voting for. His name is Barack Obama. History tells of that African Americans were predominantly republican, and I know a lot still are. For me Barack represents something personal for me. He is a symbol of this truly being the land of opportunity, and solidifies my place here in society.
Love,
Kamilah


DOUGLAS FIELD on Sep 06, 2008 at 13:40:05 said:

SENATOR OBAMA,PLEASE GIVE AMERICA A GOOD HONEST DOSE OF REALITY CONCERNING THIS US HORROR ???

LETS ALL HOPE OUR MEDIA FRIENDS CONTINUE TO ALSO SHOW AN INTEREST IN REPORTING ON THIS AMERICAN HORROR FACING THESE (TENS OF THOUSANDS) FORGOTTEN AND TRAPPED POORER AMERICANS, AND HOW THIS PRESIDENTIAL CONTENDER HANDLES THIS VERY SERIOUS ISSUE FACING AMERICA?S LATINO AND BLACK AMERICAN COMMUNITIES ????


WITH 80% OF THE BLACK AMERICAN VOTERS SAYING THEY SUPPORT SENATOR OBAMA IN THIS PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, IT IS ONLY FAIR FOR EVERYONE TO KNOW PRIOR BEING ELECTED OUR NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES HOW THIS DEMOCRATIC SENATOR TRULY FEELS ABOUT THIS AMERICAN JUDICIAL HORROR CONTINUING TO INFLICT GRAVE HARM ON THE BLACK AMERICAN FAMILIES AND THEIR COMMUNITIES NATIONWIDE ??????

*** WHEN GOD?S FACE BECAME VERY RED ***
THE US SUPREME COURT GAVE ENEMY COMBATANTS FEDERAL APPEAL HC RIGHTS LAWYERS AND PROPER ACCESS TO US FEDERAL COURTS,AND POORER AMERICANS (MANY EVEN ON DEATH ROW) ARE DENIED PROPER FEDERAL APPEAL LEGAL REPRESENTATION TO OUR US FEDERAL COURTS OF APPEAL, AND ROTTING IN AMERICAN PRISONS NATIONWIDE ?????????


***THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE $LOWLY FINDING OUT HOW EA$Y IT I$ FOR MIDDLE CLA$$ AND WORKING POOR AMERICAN$ TO FALL VICTIM TO OUR U$ MONETARY JUDICIAL $Y$TEM.

****WHEN THE US INNOCENT WERE ABANDONED BY THE GUILTY ****
The prison experts have reported that there are 100,000 innocent Americans currently being falsely imprisoned along with the 2,300,000 total US prison population nationwide.
Since our US Congress has never afforded poor prison inmates federal appeal legal counsel for their federal retrials,they have effectively closed the doors on these tens of thousands of innocent citizens ever being capable of possibly exonerating themselves to regain their freedom through being granted new retrials.

This same exact unjust situation was happening in our Southern States when poor and mostly uneducated Black Americans were being falsely imprisoned for endless decades without the needed educational skills to properly submit their own written federal trial appeals.

**INNOCENT AMERICANS ARE DENIED REAL HC RIGHTS WITH THEIR FEDERAL APPEALS !!
This devious and deceptive judicial process of making our poor and innocent prison inmates formulate and write their own federal appeal legal cases for possible retrials on their state criminal cases,is still in effect today even though everyone in our US judicial system knows that without proper legal representation, these tens of thousands of innocent prison inmates will be denied their rightful opportunities of ever being granted new trials from our federal appeal judges!!

Sadly, the true US *legal* Federal Appeal situation that occurs when any of our uneducated American prison inmates are forced to attempt to submit their own written Federal Appeals (from our prisons nationwide) without the assistance of proper legal counsel, is that they all are in reality being denied their legitimate rights for Habeas Corpus and will win any future Supreme Court Case concerning this injustice!

For our judicial system and our US Congressional Leaders Of The Free World to continue to pretend that this is a real and fair opportunity for our American Middle Class and Working Poor Citizens, only delays the very needed future change of Federal Financing of all these Federal appeals becoming a normal formula of Our American judicial system.

It was not so very long ago that Public Defenders became a Reality in this country.Prior that legal reality taking place, their were also some who thought giving anyone charged with a crime a free lawyer was a waste of taxpayers $$.

This FACADE and HORROR of our Federal Appeal proce$$ is not worthy of the Greatest Country In The World!

***GREAT SOCIETIES THAT DO NOT PROTECT EVEN THEIR INNOCENT, BECOME THE GUILTY!


A MUST READ ABOUT AMERICAN INJUSTICE:
1) YAHOO AND 2) GOOGLE
MANNY GONZALES THE KID THAT EVERYONE FORGOT IN THE CA PRISON SYSTEM.
** A JUDICIAL RIDE OF ONES LIFE !

lawyersforpooramericans@yahoo.com
(424-247-2013)


Charles on Sep 05, 2008 at 11:13:54 said:

Where the link to register,all sites that talk the talk be part of the answer amen ?? amen


shelly stallings on Sep 04, 2008 at 16:54:06 said:

ALOT OF AFRICAN AMERICANS ARE WALKING AROUND THINKING THEY CANNOT VOTE BECAUSE THEY HAVE A FELONY, AND THAT IS NOT TRUE ONLY IF YOU ARE ON PAROLE YOU CAN NOT VOTE UNTIL PAROLE IS FINISH. PLEASE HELP ON MAKE THIS KNOWN, I AM TRYING BUT I AM ONLY ONE PERSON. MY NEPHEW ARE NOW REGISTER.


richard taylor on Sep 03, 2008 at 07:55:54 said:

The ones that are not registered to vote,we,the registered voters have to go out
and spread the word for every black person to registered to vote.The first place to start is in the black church.

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