Coordinated efforts underway to find and engage voters to close the narrowing political gap
By Laura Haight
Speaking to 700-plus attendees at the fundraising dinner with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, SCDP Chair Trav Robertson threw a lot of numbers at the crowd. Number of voters short in Greenville County in 2016 (28,000), number of African American voters in Greenville County who are registered but didn’t vote in the last election (28,000).
He thundered other stats and the message was clear: We are closer to turning the state and perhaps even our county purple – and maybe blue – but it all depends on registering, engaging, and locking in voters.
To that end, several initiatives are underway.
A Voter Engagement Task Force, bringing together the Greenville County Democratic Black Caucus, the GCDP, the NAACP, the League of Women Voters of Greenville County, and Pastors United in Action, has been formed. It’s goal is to engage voters and non-voters in the county, knocking on doors, blanketing communities to find those 28,000 non-voters as well as register and activate new voters. Additional goals include disseminating voting information and recruiting precinct officers to further help organize local communities. To get involved, come to the GCDP office at 1300 East Washington Ave., Suite J, Greenville, 29605, every Saturday at 11 a.m. Training, a script, and a walk list will be provided.
The Young Voter Coalition brings together Furman and Clemson College Dems, SC College Dems, and Greenville Young Dems. This community of active, young voters will be working to unite local groups, build relationships, and get more young people involved in voting and the political process. The group will reach out to other activist organizations including environmental groups, LGBTQ groups, multicultural organizations, and anti-gun violence groups to help identify and register their members and others in their orbits. Follow the organization on Facebook or Instagram (@youngvotercoalition).
COVE (Community Voters Empowerment) continues to be a steady force in registering voters in Greenville County. The organization trains volunteers, schedules non-partisan registration events around the county, and maintains a calendar to staff events. The more volunteers they have, the more events they can staff. Check out the schedule for upcoming training sessions, then sign up to register voters. Get more information online.