A new campaign wants one million Black Floridians to vote in 2024
Civil rights groups and local leaders are kicking off a campaign to register more Black Floridians to vote in the next election.
The goal of the Power of the Ballot Campaign is to get a million Black Floridians to vote in 2024.
Salandra Benton is Executive Director of the Florida Coalition on Black Civic Participation.
She said they timed this week’s stop and voter canvassing to correspond with the Florida Classic, the annual matchup between HBCU football teams from Bethune Cookman University and FAMU, in order to reach young people attending the game.
“We have to engage them, listen to them, find out what they want, what are their issues and also make sure that they are part of the conversation. That was another thing that we did across the state, we did listening sessions."
Benton said the campaign has already made stops in nine other Florida cities with this clear message:
“You got early vote, you could do vote by mail, you could do it in person, you could do it as a family. But do not allow anyone to erase or take your vote," said Benton.
Sonia Mallard is the Cultural Center Coordinator at The Harry T. Moore Cultural Center. She said there are many reasons why Black Floridians should want to vote in the upcoming election, but for her its the preservation of Black history.
Florida has banned AP African American history, and restricted how Black history can be taught through the Stop Woke Act and new state history standards.
"When young Black children see themselves represented in history, they gain a sense of pride and belonging by highlighting the accomplishments of Black trailblazers in various fields such as science, art, literature, politics, and more. We inspire young minds and encourage them to reach for their greatness," said Campbell.
"It's about acknowledging Black lives and Black stories matter."
According to the Pew Research Center more than a third of all eligible Black voters lived in battleground states ahead of the last presidential election.
Register to vote in Florida here.
In order to register to vote, you must:
- Be a citizen of the United States of America;
- Be a legal resident of Florida;
- Be a legal resident of the county in which you seek to be registered;
- Be at least 16 years old to preregister or at least 18 years old to register and vote;
- Not be a person who has been adjudicated mentally incapacitated with respect to voting in Florida or any other state without having the right to vote restored; and
- Not be a person convicted of a felony without having your right to vote restored.