The incredible Black voter turnout in Mississippi on November 6 – and again in the November 27 runoff election – provides a powerful example of what can happen when African Americans and other voters of color are encouraged to participate actively in our democracy. This election illustrates what can happen when voters and politicians alike push the limits of traditional southern politics, even in the midst of racial fueled rhetoric. This monumental participation was spurred by the organizing efforts of NAACP volunteers who sent 20,000 text messages, made 30,000 calls and knocked on nearly 180,000 doors to get out the vote.
- The state saw gains on the Mississippi Court of Appeals where two progressive judges were elected.
- Voters elected two African American women to the circuit courts.
- In Hinds County, the most populous county in the state, the NAACP worked to increase voter turnout – which trended towards 2016 numbers.
Even though Mississippi has the highest percentage of black voters in the country (37%), state and local government bodies don’t reflect the diversity in the communities they serve. As the NAACP moves forward in its efforts to empower communities of color through increased voting participation, we look forward to electing greater numbers of representatives who understand the needs of our communities and are committed to making the American dream accessible for everyone, regardless of race or ethnicity. We must continue to organize and empower Americans to make their voices heard, and use and harness this power to produce real change in Mississippi and nationwide.