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Why Black voters are key in midterm elections

Oct 10, 2022 09:00AM ● By Karen Warrington

We are fast approaching the mid-term elections and there are critical races whose outcomes will impact Black and Brown people as well as the LBGTQ community in major ways. So, it’s important to understand that in several key races, the Black voter turnout may shift the balance of power in the Congress and also in many state legislatures. 


In the 2020 election the voter turnout peaked, more Americans voted than in any presidential election in 100 years. 


Also, more Black Americans voted in 2020 than any presidential election since Barack Obama ran in 2012. But, in spite of the turn-out of Black voters in both the 2012 and 2020 elections, there was a large racial voter gap. Of course, the 2022 midterm elections are not about selecting a president, however, many argue it’s possibly just as important. 


According to the Brennan Center for Justice, “In 2022, 70.9 percent of White voters cast ballots compared to only 58.4 percent of nonwhite voters — a disparity that will worsen with new restrictive voting laws.” 


When I was a young voter in my twenties, I remember the politically connected neighbors who distributed campaign literatures leading up to an election. And, on Election Day, they would show up at our door to see if our family had voted or intended to vote. 


Today many argue that the same neighbor-to-neighbor get out the vote effort barely exists. And, many in our community feel that local African American political leaders have become complacent and are not aggressively working to increase voters-turnout. 


In the current political climate, there are some Black communities making serious efforts with getting out the vote crusades especially in those locations where restrictive voting laws have been put in place to hinder minority voting. 


On one hand you have people enacting laws to make it more difficult for Black, Brown and LGBTQ communities to vote but on the other hand there is a racial voting gap that may be related to minority voter apathy or a political disconnect.


Whatever it is, PEOPLE, and yes, I am shouting! Whether you are young, old, woke, non-woke, gay, straight, trans, employed, non-employed, city, suburban, rural, union, non-union, Black, half-Black, “geechie”, Caribbean, African, bougie, or ghetto fabulous, America is at a dangerous crossroad and your vote may hopefully help to redirect its course. 


America remains a work in progress. It is a nation that has never fully lived up to its promise of equality and justice. 


Voting is not the only way to make change in America, but is an important tool in our tool belt to prevent the land of the free from becoming even less free and justice more elusive.

 Karen Warrington has had a decades long career as a broadcast journalist, communications professional, performing artist, and documentary filmmaker. She has traveled extensively throughout Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia. She is committed to being a voice for the African Diaspora.

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