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Columbus NAACP Puts Focus On Early Voting In Fall Election

In this April 28, 2020 file photo, Marcia McCoy drops her ballot into a box outside the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections in Cleveland, Ohio.
Tony Dejak
/
Associated Press
In this April 28, 2020 file photo, Marcia McCoy drops her ballot into a box outside the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections in Cleveland, Ohio.

With only 43 days left until the November election, the Columbus branch of the NAACP is focused on its efforts to get out the vote early. Due to COVID-19, the largest and oldest civil rights organization in the country is expanding how it reaches voters.

“We are using Facebook. We’re having different social distancing things," says Annie Ross-Womack, the Columbus NAACP chair of political action. "And in place of our churches, we’re using webinars.” 

On Tuesday night, the Columbus NAACP is holding a Facebook Live event with candidates for Congress, the Ohio General Assembly, Franklin County Commissioners, and County Treasurer.

Ross-Womack says the Columbus NAACP understands 2020 has been a challenging year, from the pandemic and its economic fallout, to protests over the police killings of unarmed Black people, and natural disasters.

“People are not even thinking about going to the polls, and that is why it’s so important for the NAACP and other organizations to keep it in the forefront,” Ross-Womack says.

Ross-Womack says the Columbus NAACP has held voter registration drives and is encouraging voters to cast their ballots early. Early voting in Ohio begins on October 6.

“We partnered with the housing authority, CMHA, one of the largest housing authorities in the nation,” says Ross-Womack. “We’ve partnered with COTA. We’ve partnered with them to get that messaging across. But we are pushing early voting, so people do not have to feel like they are being rushed.”

Ross-Womack says the NAACP, which is a non-partisan organization, remains steadfast in its mission.

“The NAACP has always, always, always been proactive,” says Ross-Womack. “We have a robust social media presence. We have a robust mailing presence. We have a robust phone calling presence. So COVID-19 will not affect us because we’ve dealt with many, many other issues larger than COVID-19, racism to be one.”

A Facebook Live event will also be held September 29 for candidates for judicial seats, the Franklin County Prosecutor, and the Clerk of Franklin County Common Pleas Court.