Seven states decreased the time frame for early voting even though 30 percent of votes cast in the general election four years ago were cast before Election Day.
As a result of these changes, legislators are being called out. The American Civil Liberties Union said that voter suppression laws were created to remove African-Americans, the elderly, students and people with disabilities from the voting process.
Florida, battleground state and home to four HBCUs (Florida Memorial College, Edward Waters College, Bethune Cookman University, and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University) continuously makes news for sketchy political practices.
The state purged registered voters, misplaced ballots and created obstacles for voters. Some groups, including the League of Women Voters, stopped voter registration drives in response to registration hurdles.
The democratic process suffers when voters back down to these tactics. It is a move that some groups continuously work against.
The Student Engagement and Empowerment Network (SEEN) includes developing minds from 10 historically black colleges and universities in North Carolina. The group’s mission is to allow students to share ideas, communication and learn how to mobilize young voters.
These kinds of organizations are crucial to engaging young people in the political process.
For many HBCUs, this is familiar work. Fighting for the rights of marginalized groups is at the crux of historically black institutions. Created during America’s darker hours these institutions not only know what is required for societal growth, but must also persist in shaping inquisitive and engaged voting citizens.
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