Nationwide movement to encourage the black vote comes to Memphis

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A national movement to encourage black people to head to the polls made its way to the Mid-South on Tuesday night.

The group “Black Voters Matter” is behind this initiative and discussed its mission in an online town hall meeting.

This comes as activists have been taking to the streets of Memphis, protesting racial injustice.

These civil rights advocates are now asking black communities across the nation to vote.

The first opportunity is the August Primary where a number of federal, state and local races will be on the ballot.

“August might seem like it’s not important but who represents us in the state house matters,” Black Voters Matter advocate and Shelby County Commissioner Tami Sawyer said. “That’s our funding for education. That’s our funding for roads and highways. That’s our funding for transportation and our funding for healthcare. So, let’s make sure we have the right people representing us in the state house.”

“We’ve got a lot of different issues that are happening in regards to police misconduct, the on-going situation with COVID-19,” Black Voters Matter advocate Timothy Hughes said.

Tuesday’s meeting was one ‘stop’ on a virtual tour bus that is making stops across the country.

Other groups are joining “Black Voters Matter” to encourage black people to register to vote.

“We got to mobilize and engage,” Racarol Woodard with The Equity Alliance said. “Make it big. The biggest voter registration that we’ve had in centuries. Why? Because this year, 2020 for black folks, it’s time to amplify and time to move.”

Advocates are reaching out to major metropolitan areas and small, rural communities like Tipton and Fayette counties.

“The more the merrier,” Woodard said. “The more black folks we have, we cannot just change our economy but change the world.”

If you need to register to vote or have questions about voting, click here.

The link also mentions how you can get an absentee ballot if you do not want to vote in person due to COVID-19.

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