By Alexis McCowan, Howard University News Service
The stakes are high this election season and the National Council of Black Civic Participation (NCBCP) has been vigilant in helping citizens vote with little difficulty during this election.
The NCBCP collaborated with the Ronald Walters Center at Howard University to provide first hand accounts of what’s happening on the ground across the South and in battleground states where Civil Rights groups have been concerned about Black voter turnout, voter suppression and incidents of voter intimidation.
“Things have been going well,” said Melanie Campbell, president and CEO of NCBCP who added that across the country things have been going well except for in the state of Michigan and several other states potential voters received calls to vote on Nov. 4th even though voting ends this evening.
But with only hours left before the polls close, Campbell wasn’t quite ready to let her guard down.
“My biggest concern is what’s going to happen in the afternoon and the evening. We are concerned that people will try to intimidate us from voting,” said Campbell.
The Unity Campaign fielded operations in 12 states and the District of Columbia. The states included: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and Wisconsin.
More than 102 million Americans cast ballots prior to Election Day on Nov. 3, which can be attributed to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and racial tensions that have left the nation divided. The NCBCP gave updates through virtual press conferences throughout the day.
Across the country:
According to the press briefing, there is no accessibility for people who are handicapped or disabled.
Helen Butler from the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda said there were issues with poll pads, police being present at ballot drop boxes, and ongoing construction around polling sites.
Butler said, “While we have had some issues this morning we are encouraging people to stay in line, vote and exercise their right.”
Tamika Ramsey, co-director of state co-director for Michigan Voice, a non-partisan organization said voter suppression has been mainly in the form of misinformation, via robocalls.
The misinformation being sent to phones in Detroit included, “If people did absentee ballots that they could be identified for law enforcements for child support or any back debt they could be sued,” said Ramsey.
“Robocalls going out in Flint today saying that lines were extremely long and encouraging people to wait until tomorrow which we also know is incorrect. We are working really hard to stop that disinformation by making calls and sending out text messages trying to send out the correct information,” continued Ramsey.