PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — In what has been an unprecedented campaign 2020, Philadelphia has been front and center of President Donald Trump’s criticism over balloting and early voting. Community leaders continue to encourage voter registrations. Experts say Democrats must turn out the vote for Joe Biden to best Trump in Pennsylvania.
A city-wide call to action in Black and brown communities.
The National Urban League held events in multiple parts of Philadelphia on Saturday, including City Hall, urging voters to get involved.
The Black voter turnout dropped in 2016 for the first time in 20 years, according to the Pew Research Center, from 66% in 2012 to 59% in the last presidential election.
There are four ways Pennsylvania voters can participate this year: in person, by mail-in ballot or absentee ballot, or utilizing the seven satellite election offices in the city.
“I know a lot of people just choose not to vote because they think it’s not important,” Cheyney University freshman Prince Kiiru said, “but every vote really does count and I believe my vote will count as well.”
At Cheyney University in Chester County, a Reclaim Your Vote program aimed at registering and mobilizing young Black students participating in their first presidential election.
“Because we feel strongly that it is about motivating but it is also about educating voters on the options to vote,” National Urban League President Marc Morial said.
After you’ve made your selections on the ballot, insert the ballot into the secrecy envelope, then insert the secrecy envelope into the voter declaration/return envelope. Remember, #NoNakedBallots! pic.twitter.com/a4BHiWaxdb
— Commissioner Al Schmidt (@Commish_Schmidt) October 3, 2020
At Cheyney University in Chester county, a ‘reclaim your vote’ program aimed at registering and mobilizing young African American students participating in their first presidential election.
“Because we feel strongly that it is about motivating and educating voters on the options to vote,” National Urban League President Marc Morial said.
The message Saturday from the National Urban League is a simple one. Voting is power and you can utilize that power the moment you step inside a voting booth.
The Trump campaign has filed a lawsuit against the City of Philadelphia after they allege Trump poll watchers were denied access to the satellite election offices. City commissioners say they will defend the suit in court because the satellite election sites are not actual polling places.
The National Urban League sees this lawsuit as an attempt at voter suppression.
“Most of what the Trump campaign is doing is designed to frustrate and suppress voters,” Morial said. “We will resist suppression.”