Black Voters Could Make All The Difference In Pennsylvania

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : October 31, 2020

In the fiercely contested elections this year, Black voters could make all the difference in several states. Many voting activists are trying different means to promote voting among the black community. Some of them were seen giving free hair cuts to people who were planning to vote next week in the Presidential elections.

Black Voters Could Make All The Difference In Pennsylvania

Activists who were seen visiting the areas dominated by black community interacted with the members. Activists asked them to use their democratic rights by voting in this election. This way, their voice can be heard, and they get to change the fate of the nation as well as the community.

Black Voters Could Make All The Difference In Pennsylvania

Local activists were seen working along with groups like “When we all vote” and “Black votes matter” to promote voting in several battleground states.

Pennsylvania is a crucial state for both Trump and Biden as they get a chance to earn 20 electoral votes in this region. Given the recent incidents of civil unrest across the nation, experts believe that Black voters could make all the difference in this crucial battleground. The impact of coronavirus was seen more on the black community, and the community was also the target of police violence in recent months. The focus on civil rights for black Americans is at its peak, and this can have a huge impact on the voter turnout this year. Experts believe that when compared to the 2016 elections, more black Americans may turn up for voting in these elections.

Activists of the “When we all Vote” group say that there is a lot of energy among the crowd and they are more informed than before about the happenings in the country. The pandemic and economic slowdown, combined with other social unrest factors, have created a more engaged electorate this year.

Activists are working hard to motivate voters, and they were seen hosting socially distant rallies that featured local artists in the areas dominated by the black community. Apart from that, activists also set up voter information booths and organized several outdoor events by leading caravans through black neighborhoods.

Experts point out to the fact that both Biden and Trump campaigned in the state this week. This shows how important the state has become for both parties. Even Barack Obama also campaigned for Biden in Philadelphia this week and criticized the efforts of Trump for the way the pandemic was handled by the government. Vice President Mike Pence also campaigned in this region this week.

Back in 2016, Trump managed to beat Hillary Clinton narrowly. But now, he seems to be trailing Biden by 5.4 points according to several polls. The state had voted for the Democrats since 1992, and it only swung towards Republicans last year. The state has around 76% white population and nearly 12% black population.

Some members of the black community who are not happy with Trump say that he has been a polarizing factor and pushed the country into a regressive and hateful condition. They say that their community is working hard towards stopping Trump from getting a second term at the office.

Activists organized the National Early Vote Day rally in the region, and several popular local hip-hop artists were called in to entertain voters. They had even invited elected officials to promote voting among the community members. The Black voters matter bus was also seen near the shopping center, and it moved around the neighborhood to promote voting among the black community members.

The organizers of the rally had made arrangements for food, and nearly 500 people attended the event. The voter information table was handled by activists and several election officials to help the voters regarding the process. As the mail-in ballots are extensively used this time, some voters need to be educated about the process and this was done properly by the activists and election officials.

Activists of the rally said that they missed the opportunity in 2016 and this is the time for the community members to voice their opinion using their democratic rights. They feel that things will change a lot with this election. The Black voters matter group usually engaged with the black community members in the South, and this was the first time they expanded the rallies to Pennsylvania.

Most activists are working hard this time as they believe that larger participation among the black community members can change the results. Last time, Trump won by a margin of just 44000 votes, and it was evident that many black voters did not participate in the elections. However, as the events of civil unrest have rocked the nation, there is more awareness about voting among the black community members. Activists say that people are looking for justice and they want change through this election.

The National Urban League has upped its campaign and promoted the “Reclaim your vote” campaign in as many as 6 states dominated by the black community members.

Philadelphia is a crucial region as nearly 65% of black voters in Pennsylvania live in Philadelphia and about 14% in Pittsburgh. In this regard, many groups have focused extensively in Philadelphia that has a total black voter share of 43%.

In the 2008 elections, the voter turnout in Philadelphia was 68%, and it dropped to 64% in 2016 elections. The black voter turnout in 2012 was at a record high of 66%, and it slipped to 59% in 2016 elections. Considering these factors, many activists want to promote voting among the black community members so that they can have better participation in democracy in these elections.

Even Barack Obama visited the region last week to campaign for Biden, and he was critical of Trump for the way the government handled the pandemic. This goes on to show how important the state has become in these elections. If the black voters turn out in large numbers as expected, Trump may find it difficult to pull off a victory in this region, according to experts. On the other hand, the Republicans are focusing their efforts in motivating the rural voters of the white community according to some experts.

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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