Election Day is still 29 days away, but millions of Americans will vote before the polls open on Nov. 4.
In Georgia, for instance, more than 135,000 folks have already voted early in-person or by absentee ballot. Given the high level of enthusiasm for Barack Obama, it is not surprising that nearly 40 percent of early voters are African American.
The fact is, voting while black on Election Day too often means waiting in long lines or encountering unexpected challenges at the polls.
Indeed, everything is not peachy keen in the Peachtree State. Voters are being dropped from the voting rolls and election officials won’t tell who or how many until after the election. If the last purge in Georgia is any guide, thousands of voters may go to vote and find their names are not on the rolls.
And in the Palmetto State, the notoriously unreliable electronic voting machines are proven once again to be, well, unreliable.
So even though you may have been voting forever, get ready. Melanie Campbell, CEO and executive director of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, says:
The number one problem people experience at the polls is that their registration status is questioned.
Melanie is a co-convener of the Unity ’08 Black Campaign, a nonpartisan civic engagement initiative designed to protect the vote and mobilize black voters nationwide.
Unity ’08 strongly recommends that before Election Day:
- Verify your registration status by contacting your local board of elections.
- Verify the location of your polling place by calling 1-866-MYVOTE1 (1-866-698-6831).
By voting early, you will be free to help get voters to the polls on Election Day. For info on how you can get involved with Unity ’08, please go here.