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NAACP Newest Branch Gets Folks to Vote

By: Marise Estime
By: Marise Estime

Gadsden County's newly formed branch of the NAACP is spearheading a campaign to get folks in Gadsden County to cast their votes early. The group wants the supervisor of elections to consider Sunday voting.

The clock is ticking; in less than a month Americans will do their civic duty by casting their votes in the General Election. Gadsden County's NAACP branch members are organizing a push to get folks to vote early, particularly on a Sunday.

Sam Hawkins, VP of the Gadsden County NAACP, says, "We will reach more of the people for early voting. A lot of the seniors who don't have transportation, the church will provide transportation. This will be a means of taking them to the polls early and getting their votes."

The supervisor of elections says starting October 18 residents can vote early, including a designated Saturday, but she says Sunday voting is not an option at this time.

Shirley Knight, Gadsden County's Supervisor of Elections, says, "For Sunday voting we do not have the staff to do that, we only have two people, absentee ballots and they’re sitting for six days a week from 8:30 to 5 and we just don’t have the staff to do it."

NAACP members say despite this temporary setback, they're working with members of the clergy to get folks out by the masses on a Saturday.

Willie Mae Battles, Secretary of the Gadsden County NAACP branch, says, "The response is that they will do what they can do to get them there on that Saturday we will do what we have to do we will pull from every avenue that we have. We hope to get them there."

What NAACP members hope to do is make history in this rural community. Knight says county commissioners cut her budget by $20,000, money that could have been used to hire another employee.


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