Everyone is encouraged to go out and vote, including young African Americans. African Americans under the age of 26 are the group that is less likely to vote when compared to other groups. In fact, many African Americans in this age group are not even registered.
It is unfortunate that young African American voter participation is so low, especially since the actions of elected officials affect almost every aspect of our lives. If we are going to improve our community, a good place to start is at the voting booth. Additionally, the voting booth is one of the places where every American is equal. The vote of a young African American who is in college or just starting a career is just as important as a vote cast by an older or financially established individual. Every vote is important and has equal value.
The low voter turnout among young African Americans is especially shameful given the struggles of our forefathers to obtain the right to vote. It is disrespectful to those who were imprisoned, or even died, to obtain the right to vote. For an African American to not vote is evidence of disrespect for our heritage and these heroes who fought and sacrificed for this right. Now, it is our right and our responsibility to vote.
We hope that the number of African American voters will increase for the important 2014 Midterm Elections. It is time to end the embarrassing trend of nonparticipation and raise awareness of African American voters, including young African Americans. The national, non-partisan, Hip Hop Caucus launched their 2014 get out the vote campaign, “Respect My Vote!” Recording artists Rick Ross and Elle Varner announced their involvement in the campaign to register and mobilize voters, with a primary focus on those living in urban communities and on Historically Black Colleges and University (HBCU) campuses. This is part of a national effort to increase young voter turnout in the 2014 Midterm Elections.
We hope that this projects, and other efforts it that target young African Americans, will have a positive impact and increase the turn out numbers this year.