Event part of national campaign to boost Black vote in November election
Crusader Staff Report
Reverend Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition organized a caravan to the Loop on the first day of Early Voting, October 1, to boost voter turnout and draw attention to this year’s presidential election between incumbent Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
Called “The John Lewis ‘Good Trouble’ March to the Ballot Box,” the caravan was scheduled to depart at 11:30 a.m. from the Rainbow PUSH Coalition headquarters in Hyde Park and arrive at the Early Voting super site at 191 N. Clark Street.
Drivers were encouraged to decorate their cars with balloons, or sorority or fraternity colors.
Those with mail-in ballots were encouraged to bring and drop them in the secured drop box at the site.
On October 14, Early Voting sites will open in all 50 wards. These sites will also allow applicants to register to vote. All Early Voting sites will have secured drop boxes for people to place mail-in ballots.
Ballots can also be returned by USPS, FedEx or UPS.
Early voters are encouraged to wear a facemask that covers the mouth and nose, whether they are casting a ballot in person or using a secured drop box. Voters in line must maintain a social distance of six feet.
Residents can also register to vote at the Early Voting sites. Two forms of ID, one of which shows the voter’s current address, are needed to register for the first time or to file a name change or an address update. A driver’s license, State ID, Social Security card, Medicare card, or utility bill, are among acceptable documents to register to vote.
Jackson has plans for similar caravans in Detroit, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Washington, D.C., Tallahassee, FL, Richmond, VA, and Montgomery, AL.
Black voter turnout across the country is critical in the race for president. In 2016, poor Black voter turnout helped Trump win Michigan, where he won by just 11,000 votes. But with everything the state has faced in 2020, including the coronavirus pandemic and the economic fallout that followed, the two campaigns are also learning that engaging Blacks at the polls has become a huge challenge.
Biden visited the state earlier in September, and his running mate Kamala Harris came to both Detroit and Flint last week in a campaign stop.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump volunteers have been running a ground game by knocking on doors throughout Michigan.
They have also opened a campaign office on Detroit’s heavily Democratic West Side, where residents say they have not seen Republicans before.
But Michigan Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist, who is Black, told the Associated Press- AP- he’s confident that Democrats will show up for Biden.
“A lot of Black folks are having that experience of getting punched in the gut several times in 2020,” said Gilchrist.
“But I also know that Black folks, Black women in particular, are going to take care of business … Donald Trump is such an existential threat to Black life and Black futures and I think we’re going to show up and make sure that he’s no longer president.”
However, the Republicans, understanding the value of each Michigan vote are also scrambling for Black votes there, too.
On September 25, Trump released his Platinum Plan, a $500 million initiative aimed at increasing access to capital, fueling Black owned businesses, cutting taxes, increasing education opportunities, lowering the cost of healthcare and furthering criminal justice reform.
The Platinum Plan also aims to make Juneteenth a National Holiday and prosecute the KKK and ANTIFA as terrorist organizations and make lynching a national hate crime.
Trump is struggling in the polls and distrust among Americans is heightened after a New York Times investigation revealed that the billionaire president failed to pay taxes for 11 years and paid just $750 for 2016 and 2017.
The bombshell report that was published this week also said Trump received a $72.9 million refund and that his businesses were more than $400 million in debt.
The report also said Trump is being audited by the IRS, which could force Trump to pay $100 million if the IRS decides he owes the federal government.