On Nov. 4 registered voters will have the opportunity send a message to the nation as polls open and Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain square off in their final match. With employers slashing 159,000 jobs from the economy last month, the most in five years, a rash of bank failures and a spiraling economy, the stakes of this duel are at an all time high.
Given the closeness of recent polls which show Obama squeaking out a five point lead over McCain, voter participation will be crucial. Though registration deadlines vary by state, for a majority of municipalities, the deadline is Monday, Oct. 6.
Of the 23 million African Americans of voting age, 68% were registered to vote for the 2004 election. On Election Day, just 60% of those registered made it to the polls. Voter turnout reached a record high during the 2004 election with 126 million ballots being counted. As in any election, every vote counts. Donâ€™t miss the chance to have your say.
Voter registration resources
Log on to MoveOn.org to register to vote, or use Declareyourself.com if you prefer to print and mail your voter registration information. You can also register to vote at your local post office and most other government buildings.
Registration deadlines for the Nov. 4 election vary by state, but most are 20 to 30 days before the election.
Declare Yourself offers registration deadlines and rules by state.
Absentee voting: If you cannot make it to the polls on Nov. 4, you can order an absentee ballot which allows you to mail in your vote. Some states even allow early voting called “no excuse absentee voting.”
Renita Burns is the editorial assistant for BlackEnterprise.com.