First Black Voter Day encourages voter registration, election participation in Black community

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – According to the Montgomery County Board of Elections, there are about 366,000 residents registered to vote.

Friday was the first Black Voter Day, started by the National Urban League, NAACP, BET and other partners to encourage Black Americans to register to vote and participate in the upcoming election.

“I know there are groups participating in the first national voting day which we are so excited about to champion our need and right to vote,” said Desiree Tims, Democratic nominee for Ohio’s 10th Congressional District

Dayton is already seeing creative efforts to promote voting like Dayton-based rapper, YelloPain’s viral song ‘My Vote Don’t Count.'” This song, co-written by Tims, offered a perspective about voting to those who might be hesitant or reluctant to participate in voting.

RELATED: Dayton rapper gains national attention with viral hit about the importance of voting

“This has energized a group that honestly wasn’t energized before,” said Willis Blackshear Jr., Democratic nominee for State Representative of the 39th House District.

Black votership sharply decreased between 2012 and 2018. This year, with concerns about in-person voting and mail-in voting, the Black Voter Day initiative hopes to clear up information and offer a clear path to success for Black people to vote.

Leaders with the Black Voter Day initiative are encouraging their community to vote by sharing why they believe participating in the democratic process is important.

“I am voting in this upcoming election for my community. I am voting because I believe in our democracy,” said Tims.
“I dont want to be sitting on the sidelines looking years back [and] thinking,
‘I could have made a difference,’ or ‘My vote could have made a difference in the trajectory of this country.'” said Blackshear. “That’s why I’m voting.”

National Voter Registration Day is on September 22. For more information on Black Voter Day, click here.

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