BY ASHLEY D. THOMAS
Less than a quarter of registered voters cast their vote for the primary election, according to reports released by the Volusia County Supervisor of Elections office.
Voter turnout was a meager 23 percent.
“We were disappointed in the primary election turnout,” Cynthia Slater, president of the Volusia County-Daytona Beach chapter of the NAACP, told the Daytona Times. “Our goal is to increase the turnout by at least another 10 percent.”
According to a report released by the Volusia County Supervisor of Elections, on Sept. 3 there were 28,984 Black registered voters in Volusia County with 16,959 female registrants compared to 11,649 males.
Exact numbers were not available by racial makeup in the report. However from available data, about 6,000 Blacks showed up to vote on Tuesday, Aug. 26.
“Our main goal is to increase voter registration and voter turnout. These local elections are just as important as a presidential election. People can look back on the 2010 elections at voter turnout, and we certainly don’t want a repeat of 2010,” remarked Slater.
‘All politics are local’
Interestingly enough, in 2010, the state had more Democrats registered to vote. However, many on the Republican ticket, including Gov. Rick Scott, were able to capture their respective seats because although fewer in number, more Republicans showed up on Election Day. Scott’s ticket also included Jennifer Carroll, who became the state’s first Black lieutenant governor.
“When people don’t cast a ballot, they are still voting for the opposition,” Slater continued.
Florida Supreme Court Justice James E. C. Perry echoed those sentiments to a group of students at Bethune-Cookman University last weekend saying, “All politics are local.”
Perry spoke on a number of topics, but by the end of the conversation it all came down to having representation by people who support your issues in offices that make a difference.
“Voting effects everything,” Perry told the young people.
Slater: Show up
Slater urges members of the community to come out to the next meeting of the NAACP on Sept. 25 at the Dickerson Center on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
“We have permanent issues. Those issues have to be aligned with the candidates we support,” she added.
A town hall meeting and discussions sponsored by the Volusia County/Daytona Beach NAACP chapter is in the works for local municipal candidates. The meeting is tentatively set for mid-October.