BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Getting out the vote. That’s the goal of a new nationwide and local push by the Baltimore NAACP.
Andrea Fujii explains how they plan to register new voters.
After a low 12 percent voter turnout in November’s city mayoral race, the NAACP is making a strong push to encourage residents before the presidential elections to vote.
“People need to understand that their vote does count in terms of dollars that come back into their community,” said Tessa Hill Aston, Baltimore NAACP president.
Out of the 610,000 city residents about 48 percent are not registered to vote. Of those, about 44 percent are minorities.
“Right now I don’t know if I’m going to vote. I may vote, but I may not,” said George Void, city resident.
To combat that thinking, the national NAACP is launching Project 2012, in which city chapters and churches hope to register and educate voters.
“We want to make sure that they all have a voice, and some may feel that they don’t, but today we stand in solidarity in knowing that they have a voice,” said Bishop Derrick Truesdale, clergy representative.
A total of 25 churches are involved. Volunteers will also visit neighborhoods and set up voter registration tables at malls and college campuses.
City resident Reginald Owens doesn’t vote because he’s frustrated with the system.
“I feel like it don’t matter none. Whoever they gonna elect, they gonna elect,” said Owens.
Other voters hope the campaign makes a difference.
“It’s the right thing to do. If you want your candidate in office then you vote for ’em,” said Valerie Handy-Bey, city resident.
Churches across the country will launch Project 2012 on Jan. 15, Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday.
Maryland’s presidential primary is April 3. The general election is Nov. 6.