For some reason, Donald Trump believes that on voting day the polls will be rigged. Due to this “fear,” Trump gave his supporters a charge for Election Day. “Make sure everything is on the up and up,” the Republican nominee said. “So go to your place and vote. And go pick some other place and go sit there with your friends and make sure it’s on the up and up. Because you know what, that’s a big, big problem in this country and nobody wants to talk about it.” This comes after we have already experienced not so pleasant experiences at his rallies. While there aren’t many tangible actions we can do about the foolishness at the rallies, one HBCU student believes there is something we can do at the polls.
A political science major at Howard University, Gabrielle Gray, is taking on Trump’s charge. Gray is organizing a group of HBCU students to make sure that voters are not intimidated by Trump’s “observers.” The passion behind Gray’s decision to protect the ability for voters to exercise their right is her grandmother, who lived through the Jim Crow era. “She always spoke about what it was like to live in Jim Crow South,” Gray told The Grio. “Denial of rights is not just a historic issue, but it’s also a current date issue. The voting trends in the past — it feels very much that voter suppression is present in today’s society.”
Students who have joined Gray in this fight will be present at polling sites helping to serve as “unbiased motivators.” The plan of action for the group is to place students in eight states where black voter turnout is vital. Some of those states include Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina and Michigan. The voting areas they will focus on include locations where there is a 10 to 30 percent black population.
These students aren’t the only ones calling for monitors on Election Day, as Congressman John Lewis has called for federal observers as well. This election has called for black voters to be more vigilant about their exercising their right and for there to be protection of that right. It’s starting to feel a lot more like 1956 than 2016. May the force be with us all.
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