Civil Rights Groups to Hold ‘All Hands on Deck’ Vote Meeting

A Poll Clerk wears an election themed apron at the Aimwell Presbyterian Church polling precinct on February 20, 2016 in Walterboro, South Carolina. Mark Makela / Getty Images

In preparation for the first election in 50 years without the full protections of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, African American civil rights groups will meet in Atlanta on June 14 to plan vote strategy. The effort is part of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation’s (NCBCP) “unity campaign” that is an “all hands on deck” call to civic engagement groups on voter participation.

The Atlanta meeting will be the first big gathering of younger civil rights groups as well as legacy organizations joining together to create a comprehensive message to get out the Black vote for the November elections. Overall strategy will be focused on states where the Black vote will make a big difference in 2016.

The conveners of the Black vote strategy summit are Melanie Campbell, President of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP) and Board member Tommy Dortch, Jr.

A key question will be whether Black voter turnout can come close to what it has been over the last two cycles with President Obama’s name on the ballot. With Donald Trump’s ascendancy, there could be another motivating factor in minority voter turnout. Most of the groups involved in the Atlanta meeting must conduct their strategies in a non-partisan way given their 501c status, but everyone is aware of the fact that African American voters are historically more likely to vote for Democrats.

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