According to a report from the Pew Research center, the black voter turnout rate declined for the first time in 20 years in the 2016 presidential election. Black voter turnout dropped from 66.6 percent in 2012 to 59.6 percent in 2016.
If you break down six key states: the 2016 election was decided in Wisconsin, Florida, Michigan, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina. But when we look closely at the numbers, this was not because an overwhelming number of Americans cast their ballots… it’s actually because so many of us stayed home:
The number of unregistered Black people far exceeds the 2016 vote margin in several key states.*
The value of the Black vote in 2020 has been proven yet again. Black voters changed the course of the Democratic presidential primary and they’re set to do the same during the general election in November.
If every Black person eligible to vote voted this year in 2020, we would see historic and winning outcomes for leaders committed to standing with our communities up and down the ballot.
We cannot be passive and have critical parts of our lives decided for us. How we eat, where we sleep, make our money, take care of our children and literally breathe depend on how we choose to fight for our lives at the ballot box.
That’s why we are launching the VOTE TO LIVE campaign. VOTE TO LIVE is our commitment to register 250,000 eligible voters: first-timers, young people, and folks who have been unknowingly purged before Election Day, November 3, 2020.
VOTE TO LIVE is The Collective’s way of educating and supporting the voices of the Black community — from the voters to leaders developing policy. VOTE TO LIVE is our movement that reclaims the power we have to decide how our lives matter in the United States. VOTE TO LIVE is our fight to ensure folks are registered, ready and able to take back so much of what’s been deprived this year and beyond.
* By The New York Times | Source: analysis of Black citizen population estimates (2016 American Community Survey) and Black citizen non-voting rates by state (2016 Voting and Registration Supplement to the Census Current Population Survey) by Karthik Balasubramanian, Howard University.