National Urban League, BET and key impact partners declare September 18 National Black Voter Day

by Sentinel News Service

As part of the organization’s #ReclaimYourVote campaign, the National Urban League, in partnership with BET and other key civil rights organizations, has designated September 18, 2020, the first-ever National Black Voter Day.

The announcement today comes 100 days out from Election Day on November 3rd and aims to energize and galvanize Black voters nationwide to take demonstrable action toward civic engagement.

September 18 is the country’s first early voting day in South Dakota and Minnesota, the latter a ground zero of the fight for racial justice since the killing of George Floyd.

Partners include the National Action Network and the NAACP.

“The pandemic and racial justice protests have shone a bright light on the stark racial disparities that exist in health care, the economy and our criminal justice system,” National Urban League President Marc H. Morial said. “If we are to repair these gaps we must commit ourselves to making sure every Black American has the tools they need to register and cast an informed vote, whether by mail or in-person, early or on Election Day.”

Jeanine Liburd, BET’s Chief Social Impact & Communications Officer, said “We have witnessed attempts to exclude Black Americans from the voting process through the purging of registration rolls, restrictive voter ID laws and other forms of voter suppression, a legacy of Jim Crow. We are thrilled to be partnering with the National Urban League and an incredible group of impact partners to declare September 18 National Black Voter Day to energize our audience to reclaim their vote during this upcoming election and beyond.”

National Black Voter Day will focus on the campaign’s “Five Steps to Voting”:

Step 1: REGISTER TO VOTE

  • Visit National Urban League’s voter registration page.
  • Confirm your registration.
  • Make sure you still live at the address listed on your registration.
  • Make sure the spelling of your name on your ID matches exactly the spelling on your registration.

Step 2: CHECK YOUR VOTING OPTIONS

  • When does early voting begin and end?
  • Does your state allow mail-in ballots?
  • Does your state allow no-excuse absentee ballots?

Step 3: KNOW THE CANDIDATES AND ISSUES

  • Know who and what you’re voting for.
  • Which causes and issues are priorities for you?
  • Research the candidates and understand where they stand on key issues.

Step 4: FIND YOUR POLLING LOCATION

  • What type of ID do you need to vote?
  • What time does the polling place open and close?

Step 5: VOTE, VOTE, VOTE!

  • Vote early
  • Take a friend
  • Vote the entire ballot
  • Report attempts at voter suppression by calling 866-OUR-VOTE

#ReclaimYourVote was launched early this year to identify significant electoral issues, demystify confusing civic processes, share ways to remain protected while voting in a COVID-19 environment, and highlight specific opportunities for Black Americans to reclaim our collective power through civic engagement.

To date, #ReclaimYourVote has leveraged activations, talent and civil rights partnerships, television spots to urge the Black community to be counted in the census and to take a stand and vote.

In the days leading up to National Black Voter Day, the National Urban League, BET and its impact partners will launch a spate of content, programming and initiatives to increase awareness of the collective voting power of Black Americans, to drive toward resources to ensure access to voting registration, to help provide guidance on voting rights restoration for eligible voters and to engage the candidates on the issues that matter most within our community.

For more information, please visit www.reclaimyourvote.org  

Reprinted from the Los Angeles Sentinel

Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League (File Photo)Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League (File Photo)

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