BALTIMORE – Youth leaders of the NAACP shared the following statements regarding the results of the Mississippi senatorial runoff election:
“We are constantly in a war for a fair democracy, not only for voting rights but also for representation that is accountable to the people. Mississippi’s election shows that we can’t afford to ignore marginalized voters and young people are the most powerful voting block we have;” said Tiffany Dena Loftin, NAACP National Director of Youth and College “Many of our elders say they won’t see the change in their lifetime, but we will. We have the power to be the change and make lasting changes for years to come. To get there, we have to use our vote.”
A combined total of 56 members of the Rust College NAACP Chapter and Tougaloo College NAACP Chapter in Mississippi, made hundreds of phone calls to encourage young people to get out and cast their vote.
“We must understand that people and policies are being put in place to suppress the black vote,” said Marquise Hunt, Youth and College President of the NAACP Mississippi State Conference, “in some parts of Mississippi there was only one name on the ballot; how can we expect to make strides to advance the agenda of our communities when the system of voting is unjust and skewed to the advantage of one community over another?”
Leading up to the 2018 midterm elections, Tougaloo College organized a campaign “The Loo Votes”, with the goal to achieve 100% voter registration and voter turnout on the college campus. By partnering with organizations such as the National Pan-Hellenic Council and Freedom Summer, this campaign was able to increase voter turnout among Tougaloo students from 11 students in 2016 to 250 students in 2018 a 2,172% increase in voter turnout among the students.
“We must examine where we are as a community and think forward to where we want to be,” said Alvin Barnes President of the Tougaloo College NAACP Chapter, “we must reflect on who has been elected to speak for our communities now, if their agenda does not advance our communities or bring justice for us all we must continue to march forward and vote for those who have our best interest in their agendas.”