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Defend the Black Vote

What’s at stake

The integrity of our elections and voting rights are under unprecedented attack – and Black men are the primary targets.

Authoritarian forces have stepped up voter suppression efforts across the country. Their strategies include disinformation, intimidation and legislation that makes it harder for people to vote. They are also undermining voter confidence with narratives that elections are rigged.

What we’re doing

People For the American Way has long known that one of the most important strategies to combat authoritarianism and antidemocratic forces in our society is to create a vibrant, inclusive electorate.

We know that boosting Black male voter turnout is critical to building an electorate that is prepared to turn back the rising authoritarian tide and defend workers’ rights, women’s rights, voting rights, civil rights, and the future of our planet. And that’s exactly why we launched Defend the Black Vote.

Our program uses peer-to-peer texting to connect directly with Black men who have failed to vote in the majority of the last three elections. We get them all the information they need to make a plan and get out and vote.

Why Black Men

A record number of Black men enthusiastically turned out to vote in 2008 and 2012. For the next three cycles, participating plummeted.

For decades, some of the most reliable participants in this electorate have been Black women, whose high rates of voting outstrip virtually all other groups – including Black men. Closing this gap between the voting rates of Black men and women is a high priority if we are to realize our vision of a democracy in which all voices are heard.

What we’ve accomplished

Since 2020, we’ve connected with over 4 million Black men and gotten them the information they needed on when, where, and how to cast their vote.

In 2022 we worked with the Analyst Institute to test the efficacy of our voter outreach program, with encouraging results for further testing in 2023.

The road ahead: 2023

In 2023, we’ll run our texting, digital, and church-based GOTV programs in Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and New Jersey.

Made with Visme

Our research will focus on refining our methods and answering questions like:

  • What messengers are most effective in turning out black men to vote?
  • What’s the best way to engage our faith networks in helping people make a plan to vote?
  • How can we use digital contact methods beyond texting to reach more voters?

You can help us Defend the Black Vote.

Every $250 donated will help us get one more Black man to the polls in the 2023 election. 

Donate now!

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