Today, Kentucky voters will head to their local polling places to cast ballots that’ll determine which Democratic candidate will run against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (who has been called “the greatest threat to democracy”) in November.
This crucial election comes as the cops who killed Breonna Taylor (a Louisville resident) remain free and as the Black Lives Matter movement and calls for racial equality gain unprecedented support. But as important as this election is, there are major obstacles voters will have to overcome today in order to make their voices heard.
Not only do Kentuckians have to deal with the ongoing pandemic and the threat that merely going outside poses, but election officials have also closed thousands of polling places. And because so many who initially intended to vote via mail-in ballots haven’t received theirs yet, they’ll have to join the masses headed to the few polling places today from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Usually, there would be 3,700 locations open during a regular election. This time, there are less than 200.
On top of this, there are legitimate concerns about voter suppression. Louisville’s Jefferson County (which has a population of 767,000) has 600,000+ registered voters and is “the center of the state’s Black population” but will have only a single polling place.
Celebrities like LeBron James, Tracee Ellis Ross, Issa Rae, and Tessa Thompson have called attention to this voting crisis and encouraged their followers to vote for progressive Charles Booker in the election.
Only a movement can beat Mitch McConnell.
We are the people he has ignored for decades. Black, Brown, and White Kentuckians, from the hood to the holler, we are rising up.
We were so invisible to him, he never saw us coming.
VOTE this Tues., June 23rd. https://t.co/xVEB9WABf1 pic.twitter.com/bu5ZEJQUED
— Charles Booker (@Booker4KY) June 20, 2020
If you want to help, there are ways to get involved even if you don’t live in Kentucky. Here’s how:
Spread the Word
Use #AllEyesOnKentucky to help educate your followers who may not be aware of what’s happening and how it will have long-term effects on our country.
All eyes on Kentucky this Tuesday. We protest. We vote. Kentucky has reduced 3700 polling place down to 200 for this Tuesday’s election. In Louisville over 600,000 people are expected to vote at ONE polling place. Louisville is Breonna Taylor’s city. We need justice and representation. Charles Booker’s work politically and on the ground is in alignment with the change we need to see. Voting is an act of resistance. Help us keep #AllEyesOnKentucky. To help even if you don’t live in Kentucky got to the link in my bio.
A post shared by Tracee Ellis Ross (@traceeellisross) on Jun 22, 2020 at 12:39am PDT
The Louisville Urban League, NAACP, Black Voters Matter, and Collective Education Fund are working together to provide food, water, and protective gear like masks and hand sanitizer to voters on Tuesday. To donate to all four organizations at the same time, head to Act Blue’s Emergency Kentucky GOTV response page.
Progressive candidate Charles Booker is also using campaign donations to organize buses to get voters to their polling location. You can donate here.
Secure a Ride
Public transportation will be free today, but these organizations will also provide rides to voters who now face the added burden of getting to a polling place that isn’t in their neighborhood. If you or someone you know needs help getting a ride today, go to BlackVotersMatterFund.org/rides or call 502-585-4622 and choose option 0.
Booker’s team is also offering Lyft codes worth $20 for a round trip to all polling places. The code is VOTEKY and it expires at midnight. But just remember, the polls close at 6 p.m. today!
Here are more guides for how to demand justice right now, how to support Black trans lives, how to demand justice for Oluwatoyin Salau, how to find mental health resources if you’re a Black woman, how to talk to your relatives about Black Lives Matter, how to donate wisely, how to spot a fake protest story, and how to protest safely.
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