The Crusader Newspaper Group

Young Black voters could decide elections

Chicago Crusader Staff

With just a month before the primary and local elections, registration drives are popping up all over in Chicago’s minority communities as Black voters prepare to voice their disgust at polls after the coverup of the Laquan McDonald case by city, police and county officials.

From community town hall meetings to social events, organizations are helping register new Black voters, who are expected to be the key players in deciding tight races in the presidential primary and local elections involving two controversial incumbents.

Political analysts say the group that will have a big influence on key races are young Black voters, who could decide the tight democratic presidential race between Hill-

ary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. The two candidates are stepping up their campaigns after finishing in a virtual tie in the Iowa Caucus..

With many young voters embracing Sanders’ revolutionary ideals of overturning the Washington establishment, there is concern that Clinton may lose the Democratic nomination. Young disenfranchised voters in 2008, played a big role in electing Barack Obama as the first Black president of the U.S. But with little information on young Black voters, it is not clear on how much impact they will have on Clinton’s run for the White House. It’s a concern that was expressed in November at a meeting between local publishers and journalists of the Black Press and one of Clinton’s campaign managers.

In Chicago and around the country, young Black activists are growing in numbers in response to police shootings and years of unemployment and racial injustices. Movements like Black Lives Matter, Dream Defenders and Buy Black Alliances are seeking to replace elected officials who have failed to address longstanding problems affecting Black communities.

Helping young voters is a new rule that allows 17-year-old teenagers to vote in the primary election if they turned 18 before the presidential election on November 8.

The primary election is March 15. Early voting starts February 29. The final day to register to vote for the March primary election is Tuesday, February 16. To register, residents can go to any drivers license facility.

With time running out and distrust of Chicago police still rampant, Black leaders from the NAACP, Rainbow PUSH Coalition and the Cook County Bar Association for the past two months have held registration drives. They hope to boost voter turnout and remove Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, who drew criticism for waiting 400 days to charge Officer Jason Van Dyke with first degree murder for shooting McDonald 16 times, an act that drew protests after the video was released.

But despite her damaged image, Alvarez leads her opponents in the latest opinion polls.

In a Research America Inc. poll of 968 registered Cook County Democratic voters Alvarez, known by nearly all voters, had 34 percent support of the vote, while her closest challenger, Kim Foxx had 27 percent and Donna More had 12 percent, the poll showed. An additional 26 percent said they backed another candidate or were undecided.



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