Today, September 17, 2021, is National Black Voter Registration Day. The Los Angeles Urban League and the National Urban League celebrate National Black Voter Registration Day in partnership with BET and more than 40 other social justice organizations.
With the California Recall election behind us, we can now look at the numbers and see the power of our voting rights. There are just over 22 million registered voters in California. More than 9 million registered voters cast ballots in this election, representing about 40% of all registered voters. These numbers are high for a special election or even a mid-term election, but there is still much work to be done for organizations such as ours that seek full voter, 100%, participation. As of this writing (election results will be certified on October 22), 64% of voters chose not to recall Governor Newsom. According to exit polls, 92% of registered Democrats, 54% of Independents, and 26% of registered Republicans voted to keep Governor Newsom in office. The outcome might have been different if the turnout had been smaller.
But simply registering to vote and voting is not enough. We must continue to hold our elected officials accountable and strive to make our nation a more perfect union.
We must continue the fight for voting rights, economic empowerment, living wages, affordable housing, universal healthcare, access to education, and equal justice, regardless of who is in office.
Next year we have the 2022 midterm elections, where we will again decide the make-up of our legislators and leaders. As we saw in the aftermath of the 2020 election, states across the nation seek to dismantle our most fundamental right to vote. We must remain resilient and committed to exercising our right to vote and its unwavering value.
Please make sure that our politicians hear our voices. Take the time to register and then take the time to vote!