Occupy the Vote on November 6th

Marc H. Morial



To Be Equal #44
November 05, 2012
Occupy the Vote on November 6th

Occupy the Vote on November 6th

November 6, 2012 will go down as a major turning point in American history. By the end of that day your vote for President will not only set the course for the next four years, it will help define the nation’s core values and create a roadmap to the future for generations to come to follow. The stakes couldn’t be higher. Everything from jobs and the economic recovery to education and immigration is on the line. With the prospect that the next President may have a chance to appoint several Supreme Court Justices, laws affecting gun control, gay rights, affirmative action and a woman’s right to choose could also hang in the balance. While the National Urban League does not endorse candidates, for more than 100 years now, we have tirelessly endorsed the values of opportunity for all, personal and community empowerment for all and an America that works for everyone, not just a fortunate few. Those are the values we urge you to carry into the voting booth on Election Day.

The Urban League movement is also keenly aware of the overwhelming sacrifice our predecessors made to secure the right to vote. We have a moral responsibility to ensure that they did not fight and die in vain. That is why our Occupy the Vote campaign will be working right up until Election Day, helping to get out the vote and ensure that your right to vote is not impeded in any way. While many of the new laws requiring voter ID and restricting registration activities have been struck down by the courts, millions of people could face new hurdles when they go to cast their ballots. We want to make sure everyone is properly registered and prepared. To that end, all Urban League affiliates throughout the country, as well as the National Urban League Young Professionals, are engaged in efforts to register and educate voters through local events and outreach.

Our online election center, www.occupythevote12.org includes specific registration and voting requirements in every state and all the latest voting rights news from around the country. We are also active on Twitter and Facebook and have created a special hashtag, #occupythevote, to facilitate discussion of voting rights issues. And we are urging citizens to call 1-866-MYVOTE-1 to register to vote, find your polling place or report an issue.

With the outcome of the election now focused in a handful of swing states, Urban League workers at affiliates in North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Virginia have been making phone calls, knocking on doors and coordinating community events to register, educate and motivate voters.

A record number of African Americans voted in 2008, and an analysis by the National Urban League Policy Institute showed that the black vote tipped the outcome of the 2008 election in several key states and is poised to do so again. I cannot urge you strongly enough -- get up, get to the polls and Occupy the Vote on November 6th. As Angela Bassett, Rev. Al Sharpton, Eric Benet and other celebrities remind us in our Occupy the Vote TV ad campaign, “Your vote is your voice. Stay silent, and your opinion is lost.”