Record-Breaking Black Voter Turnout Expected To Be Determining Factor In Election
Black voter turnout could determine the result of the election this year.
November 04, 2020 at 1:46 am
As Election Day wraps up, people are heading to the polls to cast their ballots and while millions are expected to turn out, the focus is on Black voters, and for good reason.
Since 2000, non-white voters accounted for nearly three-quarters of total voter growth, according to data from Pew Research Center via Financial Times.
In key swing states like North Carolina, the Black voter turnout could impact the results of the election. Nearly 1.5 million voters in the state are Black with the majority registered as Democrats, the News Observer reported.
The Democracy and Power Innovation Fund said Black voters turning out in numbers in battleground states opted out of the 2016 election, according to a release shared with Blavity.
Prior to Election Day, more than 1.1 million Black voters in Georgia had already voted with 28.5% of those people not voting in the 2016 election and 7.3% first-time voters.
In Atlanta where the Black population accounts for 51%, Black voters under the age of 29 already exceeded the 2016 turnout. In Florida, prior to Tuesday, Black voters made up 87% of total voters that were accounted for in 2016.
"We have worked too hard for the opportunity to vote, and overcome obstacles like COVID-19 to vote, to let anyone undermine the legitimacy of this election," Katrina Gamble, PhD, principal of Sojourn Strategies said.
The number of voters significantly increased in other states like Maryland and California, CNN reported.
"Through our organization we reached out to over 188,000 predominately Black voters in Southeast Pennsylvania," Bishop Dwayne Royster of POWER Interfaith in Pennsylvania said.
Overall, however, in 2016 Black voter turnout decreased for the first since 1996, according to the Pew Research Center.
But Black voters this year are expected to come out in numbers as they have been largely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and protesting the recent lives lost to police brutality. Black households were disproportionately affected by the economic and physical effects of the pandemic, leaving people unemployed and dying at an alarming rate compared to white Americans, as Blavity previously reported.
"The last four years have been so bad," voter Keith Green said. "We can't stand four more years of that."
Yet, the president has continuously cited the Black employment rate and funding for HBCUs as evidence for his efforts in working on behalf of the Black community. Republicans have also touted partnerships and endorsements from Black male celebrities including 50 Cent, Lil' Wayne and Ice Cube.
According to the Democracy and Power Innovation Fund, voters are determined to make sure their voices are heard at the polls.