Community groups team up to encourage Black voter turnout
TAMPA, Fla. - With the primary elections just weeks away, community leaders are encouraging the Black community to vote.
Equal Ground, a non-profit working to build political power among the Black community in Florida, teamed up with the faith community and other community leaders to help inspire people to head to the polls for the upcoming primary and general elections.
"Most people don’t even know that there’s an election coming up in August. We want to make sure that we bring awareness to remind people that it is your right. It is your responsibility. People died to make sure you have the right to vote so we don’t want people to lose sight of how important voting is," said Dr. Rev. Glenn B. Dames, Jr., the senior pastor at the Allen Temple A.M.E. Church.
"What we’re trying to do is make sure that people understand that marginalized people matter, that our votes matter, and that we will vote, that we will not only march, we’ll vote and we’ll make a difference because we believe voting absolutely matters."
They’re using settings like church services to help educate the community on the political landscape and encourage people to vote.
"We have to make sure we increase voter turnout, we have to make sure that people are not intimidated by the changes that have been made, by the redistricting, that you get out and vote, that you make a difference because your vote does count, but you want to be an informed voter," said Janette Spencer-Davis, an active church member.
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Activists say there’s still plenty of time to spread the message about voting.
The primaries are on August 23 and the deadline has passed to vote in those elections.
The general election, which includes a gubernatorial race, is on November 8.