When I registered to vote many years ago, I knew casting my ballot would help change the American political landscape. As my late grandmother Barbara used to say, “honey, your vote will always matter.”
My grandmother came from the era before the Voting Rights Act, when many African-Americans could not vote without being subject to discrimination, literacy tests, and other scare tactics. Hearing about these barriers to voting as a young person compelled me to take part in the political process as an adult.
When I arrived at Obama for America Kentucky headquarters in Louisville on Saturday, my heart told me I was there to do my part in continuing the legacy not only for African-Americans, but for all Americans.
I joined two other volunteers, Aileen and Cyn, who wanted to go to West Louisville to register voters for the day. In West Louisville, many voters—especially young voters—are disenchanted with the voting process. I hit the barbershop and beauty salons on Broadway, while Cyn and Aileen enthusiastically stood on the corner in the cold rain holding an Obama sign and voter registration forms.
Despite the cold and rain, folks in West Louisville were excited and supportive of the work we were doing for President Obama’s re-election campaign.
When we arrived back in the office at the end of the day, another volunteer, Euzetta D., talked about registering voters in the East End. Initially, people were apprehensive to sign up to volunteer or register to vote, but when Euzetta started to share her story, something shifted. She told them about her experiences volunteering on the campaign and the importance of voting, especially in this election. Euzetta made a personal connection to the people she was talking to, which energized many of them to register to vote and sign-up to volunteer.
Now I fully understand why protecting the right to vote for all Americans was so important to my grandmother. I’ll be out volunteering for the Obama campaign from now through the election. Will you join me? Sign up to volunteer today.