The Modern Day Voter Disenfranchisement event was hosted and organised by the Women’s Center on campus.
Paris Hatcher, who was the speaker of the event had a lot to say. She majored in Women’s Studies and got her Bachelor’s Degree from East Carolina University and proceeded to get her Masters in the same field at Clark Atlanta University.
She talked about the Stacy Abrams campaign. Abrams was a black American woman who ran for Georgia’s governor seat in 2019, and according to Hatcher, with her book of facts, Stacy won.
Brian Kemp, who was the opponent and also the Secretary of the State at that time, supposedly rigged the election. “Facts do not lie,” said Hatcher.
Hatcher took the audience back to the 1850s leading up to 1920s. In 1865, when the civil war had just came to end it was still a controversial era, from institutional racism to housing and educational racism, not to mention the fact that black people were not allowed to vote.
After taking her time explaining that, she came back to the present, asking where we are and what our options are in terms of elections, and how many exercised that right, keeping in mind that black women were legally allowed to vote less than 100 years ago in 1965.
As there is very little diversity in the candidates running for various offices, more and more rules keep being created. This will lead to many candidates not being eligible to run for office.
There is also less than 20% youth turnout on elections, and this shows how the youth cares less on things that matter.
In the 2016 elections, 94% of black women voted for Hillary Clinton while more than 53% of white women voted for Donald Trump.
As much as there’s always a large voter turn out when it comes to black women, they barely get investments. Most voter acquisitions, which is how much money is needed to take one to the polling station, is for white women.
According to some statistics, new American majority include the Latin Americans, black Americans, young people and single or unmarried white women, hence they are in charge of a high percentage of the results.
With 2020 elections right around the corner, Hatcher urged the audience to participate. She said it really doesn’t matter who we vote for, but we should go ahead and turn out.
While not all of us are eligible to vote, we can still be able to participate in one way or the other, either by driving people to the polling station or assisting anyone at the polling lines and offering some refreshments, we can still be part of the elections.
She finished by stating some of the things she wishes to see in the 2020 elections which included a diversity in candidates, a nationwide off day during the election day, protection of voters during the election, secured and verified technology to be used in the elections and free and fair elections.
This was an informative session and hopefully, in 2020, more people will, in one way or the other, be able to participate and practice their right.
Header photo by Prasad Pol/MSU Reporter.