DNC Black Caucus Sharpens Focus on Voter Mobilization and Combating Voter Suppression

DNC Black Caucus Host Events to Combat Voter Suppression and Train Organizers on Vote-By-Mail Ahead of the November Election

This week, The Democratic National Committee (DNC) Black Caucus hosted two virtual events focused on the issue of voting in the Black community. The first, a town hall event titled Combating Voter Suppression during the 2020 Election featuring Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (OH-11), Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01), New Jersey Secretary of State Tahesha Way, DNC Chair Tom Perez, DNC Black Caucus Chair Virgie M. Rollins, and DNC Director of Civic Engagement and Voter Protection Reyna Walters-Morgan, where they discussed the numerous barriers impeding the voting process during the COVID19 pandemic, particularly in communities of color, and the work being done to mitigate Republican-led efforts to limit access to the franchise. The second, a vote-by-mail organizer training featuring New Jersey Secretary of State Tahesha Way facilitated by DNC Senior Advisor Waikinya Clanton, creator of Seat at the Table, to prepare organizers across the country to expand vote-by-mail utilization in communities of color who could potentially be impacted by a second wave of the pandemic.

Both events highlighted the  resources available to voters so that they are able to register to vote, apply to receive absentee ballots where possible, and make their voices heard in the 2020 general election.

Earlier this month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed The HEROES Act, which would provide strong, evidence-based measures that will be essential to ensuring every American has access to the ballot box this November, including:

  • An additional $3.6 billion for states to expand safe, accessible elections;

  • Expanded vote-by-mail (no-excuse absentee), sending a ballot to every registered voter, postage prepaid;

  • Protections for in-person voting, including 15 days of early voting to allow for social distancing;

  • Online voter registration and same-day voter registration.

Quote from DNC Chair Tom Perez: “Given the permanent nature of voter suppression on the Republican side it was abundantly clear that we needed to build a permanent voter protection infrastructure. And that’s exactly what we did. The ecosystem for voter protection is as strong as it’s been in years and it’s a good thing because it is sorely needed in the midst of this pandemic.”

Quote from DNC Black Caucus Chair Virgie M. Rollins: “Access to the ballot box is one of the most important issues facing us this election. We know that Republicans are going to do everything in their power to try to suppress the vote but we will remain vigilant to make sure our community is heard.”

Quote from DNC Senior Advisor Waikinya Clanton: “We don’t have any time to waste in preparing our communities for November in what could be a second wave of this pandemic. African Americans have been amongst the hardest hit by COVID19 but we cannot allow that to stop us from exercising our right to vote. Black people have a strong and sincere relationship with voting and we will not be disenfranchised during the most consequential election of our lifetime.”

Quote from Rep. Marcia Fudge: “We are working in Congress to make sure that everyone has the unfettered right to vote. We are demanding that the Constitution is followed despite what this pandemic puts in front of us because it is becoming increasingly clear that Republicans will do anything to make it harder for us to vote.”

Quote from Congressman G.K. Butterfield: “The challenges of COVID19 overlayed on the long history of Republican voter suppression have caused a huge problem. There is a high probability that this virus will remerge in the fall of 2020, and when that happens it is imperative that we provide a safe means of alternative for voters who will be understandably reluctant to go to the polls.”