African American Voter Outreach takes action to help prepare for upcoming elections

Hugo Maldonado Garcia, Reporter

National Voter Registration Day was on Sept. 22 and the Kern County Democratic Central Committee, along with other community leaders, launched the “African-American Voter Outreach Campaign” to encourage voters to take part in the 2020 Presidential Election.
According to Denise L. Norris, the KCDCC African American Community Election Coordinator, she is “part of this campaign because I wanted to help make a difference.”
She added that she felt as though there was a need to educate people on how to register to vote. Norris is also a communication professor at Bakersfield College who helped organize many voter registration drives before joining the BC faculty in 2015.
Norris helped build this campaign because she felt there was a void in Kern County voters and a need to do something that had not been done before to make a difference. The purpose of the campaign was to help the community become aware of Voter Registration Day for new, current, and future voters to make sure they can vote, as well as update any new information as needed.
People cannot vote until they are registered.
“This is important because everyone matters, the power of our voice is voting,” Norris said.
Since the “2016 Presidential Election” the African American votes began to drop, and the Voter Outreach Campaign is designed to help bring those numbers back up again this time around. According to Norris, she has big plans for what the African American Voter Outreach Campaign can turn into, describing it as “a bigger and better campaign on a whole new level,”; however there is a limited budget as of right now.
There is a need for registering to vote because “Voting now is just as important when it comes to voting in the next two years for the primaries” Norris said.
There are many ways to register online, the KCDCC website and their Facebook are just some examples.
Once registration is complete, people have the opportunity to vote in person or request a vote by mail ballot. Citizens can also check their nearest polling place online, and if interested they can also request to be considered on becoming a poll worker. Consider checking in on the radio as well for different ways to register, but the deadline to register to vote for the Nov. 3 Presidential Election is on Oct. 19.
The purpose of the African American Voter Outreach Campaign is to “Excite, educate, enlighten and motivate the African-American community on the importance to first register, and then vote,” Norris said.