On June 2, the Democratic and Republican primaries will be held in D.C. and Maryland. Candidates for public office are vying for support from registered voters in their respective political parties to cast their ballot and propel them to victory in the upcoming November general election.
When it comes to African Americans’ participation in any local or national election, it’s consistently a “hold your breath” moment. Despite the historical legacy that impacted Blacks’ ability to vote, observers and pundits alike remain skeptical as they regularly ponder, or predict, the Black vote turnout. Take Super Tuesday in March. While it is clear who Black voters in the South supported, and the impact they had on establishing Joe Biden as the Democratic nominee, did a majority of Black registered voters turn out, or did the majority of them stay at home?
Now it’s our chance. Even though D.C. voters are considered insignificant in the national elections landscape, their votes matter locally. In Maryland, a Republican governor has spent two terms disassociating himself from Donald Trump with Democrats controlling the Maryland General Assembly. All eyes will be on the impact of voter turnout there amid COVID-19.
Ordinarily, it would be at this point when we would name our choices of candidates we endorse. We won’t be doing that because we believe voters must make that very personal decision of selecting the best candidates to serve their needs. Despite COVID-19, most of those running for office have attempted to share their platforms by mail, street and lawn signs, personal phone calls and handbills distributed door-to-door. We’ve heard and seen them on Zoom candidates’ forums, and we’ve heard from their constituents on social media. Our wish is for every registered voter to vote on June 2. The mail-in ballot period has expired in D.C. In both jurisdictions, there will be fewer voting centers, again, due to COVID-19.
Despite current conditions, voters must not to be deterred. Carry out your right and duty to vote for the candidate of YOUR choice. Make a statement on June 2. Make your voice count.