Increase Voter Turnout with Advanced Ballots – Article by Brandon Whitney

[© Bruce Davidson]

Low voter turnout has been a problem for quite some time in
African American communities. Many efforts have been made to correct
this problem, including door to door voter registration, with little
effect. While one can register voters, one cannot make them travel to
the polls to vote. It is also difficult to block misinformation that is
disseminated in throughout the Black population to disenfranchise them
or transfer all who lack transportation to the polls. One can, however,
facilitate voting through Advanced Ballots.

The use of the Advanced Ballot in elections is a powerful tool.
It allows those who lack transportation, or a way to their voting
precinct, to vote. Because the Advanced Ballot is sent out before the
election, it allows those who are unsure of whom to vote for to peruse
the ballot. Advanced Ballots prevent voter intimidation and confusion.
It is hard to predict when such intimidation will take place, but it is
best to avoid any possibility of disenfranchisement through Advanced

For those organizations that are dedicated to improving the
African American vote this upcoming election, the Advanced Ballot is
must have tool. The advance ballot saves time and effort, and ensures
greater voter participation in African American communities. Advanced
Ballots are relatively simple to fill out. They actually require less
information than the voter registration form. They can even be turned
in at the same time as the voter form.

I have found this to be extremely effective. If someone receives and
Advanced Ballot but decides to go in to the polls to vote they will want
to take their Advanced Ballot form along with them. This is so that the
voting officials are sure that the person is not casting more than one
vote. It is best however, to simply mail the ballot in so as to ensure
that the vote is definitely cast.

In order for African American’s to be taken seriously
politically, it is important that the community vote consistently and in
large numbers. The Advanced Ballot is a tool to accomplish this. The
number of registered voters who vote increases a great deal when
Advanced Ballots are used. Advanced Ballots should be a part of any
voter registration program, especially those in the African American

Brandon Whitney
Lawrence, Kansas


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