'There's a lot at stake': Organizers share how they are fighting to protect voting rights for people of color

Tatiana Pile
·2 mins read

National Voter Registration Day is Sept. 22, and with one of the most important elections of our lifetime on the horizon, it’s crucial to know your rights and how to register to vote.

However, for many people of color, voter suppression has prevented them from having their voices heard and their votes counted.

Since Black and brown people were given the right to vote, that fundamental American privilege has faced suppression by repressive measures such as voter ID laws, gerrymandering, voter roll purges and felony disenfranchisement.

And with the coronavirus pandemic completely upending life as we know it, many are concerned that historically problematic voter laws in states across the U.S. will prevent disenfranchised communities from accessing their ballots this November.

Voters wait in line to cast their ballot at an early voting location in Fairfax, Virginia on September 18, 2020. - Early in-person voting for the 2020 general election kicked off on September 18, 2020 in Virginia (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)
Voters wait in line to cast their ballot at an early voting location in Fairfax, Va., on Sept 18. (Getty Images)

To combat voter suppression, organizations and activists are using social media and other tools to spread awareness about voter registration and deadlines to request your vote-by-mail ballot.

Yahoo Life recently spoke with Deon and Roxanne Avent Taylor, founders of BE WOKE.VOTE; Henry Muñoz, founder of Momento Latino & Co-founder of Latino Victory and TheDream.US; and Torrey Smith, two-time Super Bowl champion and member of the Players Coalition, who are all actively working toward protecting voting rights for people of color.

“There’s a lot at stake in this upcoming election, no question about it,” Muñoz tells Yahoo Life. “We cannot leave any vote on the table. We cannot afford to be lulled into not being motivated or being disengaged.”

Watch the video above to learn more about how these panelists are empowering people of color in their communities and beyond to register to vote and protect their rights.

Video produced by Kelly Matousek.

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