Black ExperienceNational

New NAACP Initiative Works to Engage Black Voters

With less than a month before the Nov. 6 midterm elections, organizations such as the NAACP are ramping up efforts to get voters, especially Black voters, to the polls.

The civil rights organization has launched “The Demonstration Project,” a new initiative aimed at increasing long-term Black voter turnout.

“In order to become a potent political force, the Black community must build a political infrastructure that will vote in both presidential and non-presidential elections and at all levels of the ballot,” said Derrick Johnson, NAACP president and CEO. “If all eligible members of the community rise to the challenge and vote, we control the fate and future of our community. Stated more directly, we must vote in far greater numbers because our lives, our very existence depends on it.”

Courtesy of NAACP

The NAACP worked with GSSA, LLC, a Colorado data analytics group and partner in the initiative, to map out metrics for the Black community. The information gathered shows the potential impact of Black voters on the elections and identifies parity in registration and turnout in battleground states.

The project has enlisted the support and partnership of allied organizations including the faith community, Pan-Hellenic organizations and key issue-advocacy groups. So far, more than two dozen organizations are on board.

“The initiative expects to achieve success through four major strategies: the use of data-based targeting of infrequent voters and eligible but unregistered citizens; creativity in relational organizing — that is, friends talking to friends; more especially strong coordination between and among all allied organizations; and research-based communications — why do Black voters vote or not?” said Jamal Watkins, NAACP vice president of civic engagement.

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