African-Americans dreams of voting weren’t fully recognized until 1965, only 46 years ago.
Since voting is still a relatively new process for African-Americans, one could assume voting would be at an all time high. However, statistics show that African-Americans have inconsistent voting patterns.
In the 2008 presidential election, according to the U.S Census, the number of African-American voters went up 5 percent, or 2.1 million from the 2004 presidential election. However, according to CBS News’ preliminary national exit poll 10 percent of blacks voted in the 2010 midterm elections compared to the 13 percent in 2008.
Yes, politics may not be the most exciting thing to listen or to talk about, but inconsistent voting numbers will continue to hurt the black community.
Voting education may have something to do with it. In 2008, the first African-American president, Barack Obama, was elected. Not only were African-Americans united but the nation was united. Two years after President Obama was elected the excitement came down, therefore voter numbers decreased.
What some don’t know is without a Senate, or a House of Representatives a president can do nothing. It’s separation of powers. A bill must be passed from the House and then the Senate just to make it to the president’s desk.
These are the people you elect that have no real media buzz around them. These are the individuals that are calling your house phone tons of times to see if you will participate in their election. These are the people who have others canvas for them, and possibly stick a sign in your front yard saying that you have their vote.
However, most Americans, in general, never pick up that phone, never stick that sign in their front yard, and never even pick up a newspaper to see who the candidates are and hear their policies.
We must do better. Our ancestors did not die for our voices to be unheard. If we do not improve our voting habits, needs will not be met, and those needs will simply be overlooked. And that is not something any community can afford.