2020: The Future of Black Voters

On September 3, 1868 in the Atlanta City Hall- Fulton County Courthouse; a meeting was held to have black representatives removed from the Georgia House of Representatives based on the 3/5-man rule. This rule dates back to the time of slavery when slaves were not considered to be a complete person. As a result, African Americans were not given the same privileges as Caucasians, such as the right to vote.

That was until the year 1870, when the 15th amendment was created after the United States v. Reese court case. As stated by this amendment, no state could deny a citizen the right to vote based on their race, color, or previous condition of servitude. After that amendment was addedtotheConstitution,black males were given the right to vote, but even then, there were difficulties to overcome.

After black males received the right to vote, several states tried to put up obstacles so they would not vote during elections. For instance, in Mississippi, a trend started with southern states to keep blacks away from the polls. Along with being a regular citizen, voters had to pass a literacy test to prove competence. During that time the number of black voters dropped from around 130,334 to 5,320.

important during an election. The fascinating point is that a majority of African American votes can significantly impact an election and cause a significant change in who may win. As the upcoming presidential election moves along many suspects that the African American votes could be the highest percentage of all other minorities.

Though the only thing that matters is which side African Americans are going to vote for Democrats or Republicans. According to NBC News, “While black voters had been siding with Democratic presidential candidates since at least the days of Fredrick D. Roosevelt, the depth of their loyalty remained an open question.” As well from New York Magazine, “...African Americans represented 24 percent of the total Democratic- primary electorate in 2016, a percentage that could well go up in 2020.” Together, these statistics show that African Americans votes matter and can change the outcome of this upcoming election. Fast forward to modern day, while African Americans have the right to vote, a vast majority of them do not. African Americans do not vote for no reason, there are specific reasons as to why some don’t. Some of the reasoning is the fault of politicians not following through with their promises and having companies supporting a candidate despised in the African American community.

Another reason why some African Americans do not vote is because of the stereotypes that they hear. For example, African Americans are too lazy to vote, the electoral system is rigged, and most of all, that their votes do not matter.

Junior, Christopher Amos, comments, “I believe that black people don’t vote during elections because they have lost hope that politicians will carry out their problems. Also, very few black people become elected into office, so it is discouraging not to see a black person of status.”

According to the Pew Research Center, in the 2016 presidential election, “The black voter turnout rate declined for the first time in 20 years... falling to 59.6% in 2016 after reaching a record-high 66.6% in 2012.” Along with “...blacks made up 11.9% of voters in 2016, down from 12.9% in 2012...” These percentages show that as time moves on the black vote has decreased.

There are many reasons why African Americans do not vote, but that does not mean that they should not vote. Just like any other minority, African American votes are just as important during an election. The fascinating point is that a majority of African American votes can significantly impact an election and cause a significant change in who may win. As the upcoming presidential election moves along many suspects that the African American votes could be the highest percentage of all other minorities.

Though the only thing that matters is which side African Americans are going to vote for Democrats or Republicans. According to NBC News, “While black voters had been siding with Democratic presidential candidates since at least the days of Fredrick D. Roosevelt, the depth of their loyalty remained an open question.” As well from New York Magazine, “...African Americans represented 24 percent of the total Democratic- primary electorate in 2016, a percentage that could well go up in 2020.” Together, these statistics show that African Americans votes matter and can change the outcome of this upcoming election.

Now, as students, we can help the number of African American votes increase too. If you are not registered to vote, you can go to your local Registrar of Voters Office, or you can go online to GeauxVote and register from there. So, remember that regardless of what race you may be or what your political background may be, your vote matters.

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