ANSC Leadership Retreat highlights youth involvement in voting



Pictured are members of the ANSC Young Adult Leaders Task Force. L-R are Doug Fulghum, Jaeson Zellars, Alphonzo Morton III, Danielle Harper Fulghum and Elizabeth Gunn.

The Alabama New South Coalition held a Leadership Retreat on August 6 and 7 in Montgomery, Alabama to prepare for the November 2, 2010 General Election. Motivating and mobilizing young people in the age range of 18 to 35 to actively participate in the voting process was a key focus of the weekend meeting.

Senator Hank Sanders reviewed some of the basic statistics in the election. There are 2.9 million total registered voters in the state with 700,000 Blacks and 1.8 million whites. About 1.5 million people, a little over 50% are expected to turn out to vote in November. It will take 775,000 votes to win the Governor’s race. If Blacks turn out at a level of 55% or better (400,000 votes), the candidate they support can win.

The ANSC member chapters present agreed to a goal of 60 to 75% Black voter turnout to help assure the victory of the ANSC endorsed candidates. ANSC will make its choice for Governor between Democrat Ron Sparks and Republican Dr. Robert Bentley, as well as other candidates for statewide and local races, at a convention to be held in mid-September.

 The young adult members present made up a special task force to discuss ways to increase interest in registering to vote and participating in elections. The group recommended holding special birthday parties at high schools and colleges to encourage 18 year olds to vote. The group suggested having prizes for ANSC chapters who registered the most new voters and  the most new voters in proportion to the total potential voters.

The young adult task force also suggested that the candidates visit college campuses, hold step shows, talk with fraternities and sororities, and organize students to apply for absentee ballots.

They suggested using facebook and other electronic media to reach young people.

    Others suggested reaching youth who do not attend college at job corps centers, churches, teen hangouts and other places. The use of local radio stations popular with young people was also suggested to get the message out about the importance of voting and that every vote counts.

    The adult leaders of ANSC agreed to push for an ongoing youth voting task force with a budget to implement these suggestions.

    Overall ANSC agreed to begin working immediately on voter registration, absentee balloting, helping felons to restore their voting rights, as ways to increase excitement and interest in voting and participating in the November general elections for everyone.

    The deadline for registering to vote in November is Friday,  October 22, 2010,  which is ten days before the election.

    To join ANSC and for more information contact the ANSC State Office at 334/262-0932.


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