National Director of the NAACP Youth and College Division, Tiffany Dena Loftin issued the following statement regarding the results of the 2018 midterm elections:
“The 2018 midterm elections confirmed once again that young Black voters are some of the most trustworthy and dedicated voters in the country. Over the course of the last few months members of the Youth and College Division staff have flown back and forth across the country training new leaders on how to successfully organize effective voter registration drives and GOTV campaigns in their community. Speaking with student leaders across this nation the question of ‘why don’t millennials vote?’ became clear; when young people continuously see candidates and political leaders undermine issues that plague their communities they are left with one of two feelings. A fiery desire to stand up for the injustices and vote for leaders who will bring change, or they get discouraged by what they see and remain silent because they believe their vote will do nothing. Although both feelings are a form of democracy, Tuesday’s election proved that when young leaders decided to stand up and have their voice heard, we do improve our communities! Our students hosted Candidate forms and ballot education parties, Walk Outs to the Polls, Election Day tabling events, rallies, concerts and so much more. They canvassed, sent text messages, phone banked and drove folks to the polls in the spirit of democracy and freedom.
We must take a moment to acknowledge how many victories were accomplished on Tuesday, November 6, 2018. New York elected a 29-year-old phenomenal leader to Congress making her the youngest elected official ever. The first Muslim women were elected to Congress, over 1.4 million people in Florida had their right to vote restored, Texas elected two Latina congresswomen for the first time, Colorado will now have an openly gay Governor despite the discrimination we saw earlier against the LGBTQIA community at the Supreme Court, the first Native American women were elected to Congress, Massachusetts voted in its first black congresswoman, and a conservative district in Illinois elected the youngest black woman running for Congress this year to the house.
Voter turnout among African Americans increased significantly this midterm cycle and early voting was through the roof. Millennials know the power of their vote, and we are getting better and better at using it. While absentee and provisional ballots are still being counted in key states like Florida and Georgia we must know that we still have work to do. Let’s celebrate the victories and continue to work towards a better America for us all.”