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Black People Vote Early it is Legal

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The U.S. Census did a survey back in 2000 on the reasons people use for not voting by sex, race and age. Blacks, at a rate of 18.5%, said they were too busy and had conflicting schedules.

14.9% said illness or disability kept them from voting. 12.7% said they were not interested and felt their vote would not make a difference. 23.1% had no reason or refused because they didn’t know why they don’t vote. Other reasons range from out of town, forgot to vote, transportation problems, did not like the candidates, registration problems, bad weather, and inconvenient polling place location.

Well you have heard it before that this election has more at stake than ever before. For Black Americans that is true in every election. You still have a few days in which to register and you need to do that plus get ex-felons to do the same. If you need information on ex-felons please contact the voter registrar office at (951) 486-7200 in Riverside and (909) 387-8300 in San Bernardino. If you are afraid to contact them call Kim Carter at (909) 217-0971 she is an ex felon who will explain the process and help you all the way. After you register to vote then the next thing is to vote.

I would suggest you vote early by absentee ballot or go into the voters registrar office before Election Day. To vote by mail all you have to do is fill out the request and mail it into the registrar’s office then return it before Election Day or drop it off at the polls. This is the best way to have the sick and shut in at your church or senior center vote. For those who might be out of town, you should use one of these forms of voting.

Another reason to get our people to vote early is bad weather. You know what happens if the wind is blowing hard or it is raining, we have this tendency to want to stay inside. Arthur (arthritis) decides to pay us a visit and we have to sit and keep him company all day long.

Then we have those who work from 8 to 5 and decide to go home first then come back out to vote. You turn on the TV or your kids get your attention and the time just gets away from you. Don’t do that, vote early. Another reason we want you to vote early is you forget where you put the voting pamphlet so you decide it is better not to vote. You might forget where your polling place is located because the last time it was in a different location, so vote early.

Then we have those who are waiting for the loud speaker to come through the neighborhood blasting “today is election day please go and vote.” This might not happen, so vote early. Some of you will wait to get a reminder call from one of the campaign staff, this might not happen, so vote early. When they call this time tell them, “thanks for the call but I have already voted.”

What if there is a family emergency or you get sick on Election Day; you will have the peace of mind in knowing you have already voted. Now we have some people in our community that were harassed at the polls when we exercised our right to vote prior to 1965 and this group wants to do their voting at the polling place. This group is older so you need to make yourself available to ensure nothing will prevent them from voting on November 2nd. Just grin and bear with them and let them do it their way. This might be a mother, father, aunt, uncle or next door neighbor.

The main thing I’m trying to accomplish here in the Inland Empire is to increase the citizen participation in voting. San Bernardino County has the lowest voter participation rate in the state of California according to PBS Television show California Connect. We must take away every reason for not voting and maximize our political strength within this society. The one thing we do have is a sizable block of votes that are not for sale. We must use it to our advantage. Our young people vote less than any other group, so parents please remind them to vote and all of you vote early.

I was asked by a fellow minority businessman to clarify my understanding of Prop. 72. The official summary of the stated explanation of this proposition states; “Applies to employers with 50 to 199 employees beginning 1/1/07, applies to employers with 20 to 49 employees if tax credit enacted”. The state analyst’s office states “the saving or cost is unknown to state and local government”. Always read the fine print and if you can not read the fine print then vote against.

To contact Hardy Brown email: hardybrown@blackvoicenews.com or call (909) 888-5040.

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