The NAACP has been on the ground conducting a GOTV program for over a week from the world-famous Cascade Family Skating rink. We have concentrated our efforts within the metro Atlanta region targeting key local legislative races in Gwinnett, Cobb, DeKalb, and Henry counties. Our goal is to increase turnout of African American voters who typically do not vote during the midterm election.
Considering how tightly contested many races in Georgia are, it is essential we reach as many voters as possible and encourage them to exercise their power. African American voters in this state have be confronted with numerous challenges to undermine their constitutional rights. From Randolph County proposing to close all but one polling station to seniors in Jefferson County being denied by local law enforcement to travel by bus to vote, these actions have been met with fierce opposition by the NAACP and ally organizations. At first, our GOTV program had about 50-60 canvassers, but are now running an operation with more than four times as much. Our canvassers are students, seniors, men, women, and parents. They care about the future of this state and country. Every day, they go and represent this organization with honor, respect, and integrity. Any success we enjoy will be from their sweat, dedication, and belief in the electoral process. As the state director, I am honored to work for them.
On the ballot, there are numerous races that have serious implications for the future of Georgia. All the statewide seats are at play as well as federal and state offices that have historically been Republican. With the demographic changes going on throughout the state, as well as grassroots efforts to mobilize young people and low propensity voters, Georgia has a real chance to have state and federal representation that reflects the diversity of its population. Also, on the ballot are constitutional amendments that would provide more resources to protect the environment and improve victim rights during the judicial process, to name a few.
Tuesday, November 6, 2018, can be a historic day for Georgia and the country. The NAACP can be proud that it was here, on the ground, doing the work required to ensure success.
By Joel Alvarado
NAACP Civic Engagement State Director, Georgia