By Lauren Poteat
NNPA Washington Correspondent
With election day quickly approaching, the NAACP is working hard to get everyone they can on board with voting—particularly millennials.
Launching their “Text the Vote!” initiative, through the Civic Engagement Department of the NAACP, officials hope to increase awareness and voting numbers—just in time for the Nov. 6 elections.
“Our lives are on the ballot this year, so it is absolutely crucial that Black Americans as a whole, participate in these midterms elections at rates that reflect our true voting power,” NAACP President & CEO Derrick Johnson said in a statement. “We are urging everyone to use their power to register and mobilize new voters and get involved in one of the most important elections in our nation’s history.”
According to the NAACP, to date, 59 percent of adults who are eligible to vote are Gen Xers, millennials, and or post Millennials, who also account for one third of the electorate.
However, according to fairvote.org, on average, about only 40 percent of voting eligible residents, actually vote during midterm elections, and only 60 percent, during presidential election years, with turnout rates usually lower for odd year, primary and local elections.
Through the “Text the Vote!” initiative, which falls under the guise of the NAACP’s “Peer-to-Peer” text messaging “Hustle Campaign,” NAACP officials hope to put an end to low voting numbers.
Through the voting campaign, residents across the nation are asked to volunteer to “hustle” with the organization for an hour or two or more each week, between Oct. 24 and Election Day, in order to spread the word to vote.
“The most important player in this year’s election is the individual, Jamal Watkins, NAACP Vice President of Civic Engagement said. “Our recent poll showed a majority of voters of color and nearly all Black women felt disrespected by President Trump. People of color also believed this president has set back race relations and these numbers will play a role in both how and why they’ll vote in the midterm elections.”
Through the campaign, volunteers will download a mobile app and chat with voters to get out the vote, with hopes of reaching 600K infrequent Black American voters, during this critical election period.
“This campaign is about the power of our personal networks to mobilize voters and to ensure that no elected officials can feel comfortable in disrespecting our communities or taking our votes for granted,” Watkins stated.
Well-earned prizes will be awarded to the “Top 5 Hustlers” in each Tier 1 state, including Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
To learn more visit: “Text the Vote!”