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Uplifting Black, Brown, and queer voices across the South—no matter who's in office.
We have made it through another election period and are on to the ballot counting, ballot chasing and more.
What do we do now? We voted, now what?
For those of us that have cast our ballots, if you're living in states that are waiting for the counts to be completed, take a deep breath.
And let it out. This is a part of the work.
Every vote must count, regardless of whether it was cast absentee or vote by mail, whether it was cast in person and early voting or in person on election day.
For those who had to fill out a provisional ballot and need time to cure their ballot, this is the period we're in right now.
This is a part of the process. And we need to make sure that it works the way it's intended to.
We also have laws in many states that prohibit the counting of absentee ballots prior to the end of all voting.
You heard that right. There are some states where you cannot start counting absentee ballots until all the polls have closed and the election period is completely done. That also delayed the count.
But this is a part of what is already built into the process. In several instances, there were advocates and legislators and even some governors and Secretaries of states that tried to get state legislators to change the rules and adapt rules that would make counting of absentee ballots go a little bit quicker, to make it a little bit more amenable to keeping it on a shorter time schedule.
Unfortunately, here we are—waiting.
But think about what we gained, and how much further we move how many more we brought along with us. We need to reassess and take a brief moment. Only take a brief moment, though—because we do need you if you're in a state that has runoffs. Here in Georgia, we will have at least one US Senate race runoff. These are elections that if based on your state laws, someone didn't get a clear majority, then you have another election to see who will ultimately win.
We do know that there have been some amazing shifts happening across the board. In Mississippi, a new flag was adopted.
Mississippi also rejected finally repudiated an old prevision of a Jim Crow remnant that created basically the same functional equivalent of an electoral college within the state
Some like things are moving in the right direction. But then there's the usual racism and white supremacy that outweighed the greater good.
We know that just based on the history of this country that those are things that are going to have to be contended with. Yet we've seen amazing resilience of organizers from Alamance County, North Carolina, to Georgia, down in Dougherty County, to Mississippi, to Texas.
We got another win in Florida, where minimum wage will move forward. Yet we still see the disenfranchisement of formerly incarcerated folks who ought to have their rights restored because of Amendment 4.
We're seeing similar issues in terms of rights restoration in Georgia, Tennessee, across the country across the South.
That determination to show up no matter what. Folks went back and marched to the polls on Tuesday, because people still needed to vote.
Their voices deserve to be heard, and the community decided it was going to show up.
We're seeing a shift. We may not be seeing a shift in terms of winning over the hearts and minds of convincing people who are comfortable voting for racists, that they're no longer racist in the greater good and only you have these good issues.
But appeasing to folks in a way that actually undermines and throws many of our impacted communities under the bus, chasing voters as if they're a white whale is not going to help us move our community forward.
But you know what will? Collective organizing.
Collectively building together and continuing to bring people along to the process and shifting the way in which we engage in this business of politics.
We're talking about democracy, and how it functions. There's a practice to it.
It has to be a part of the very fiber of the way we're moving, not just every four years
But how are we moving across cycles? We have municipal elections coming up in many states next year. In 2022, we'll see midterm elections, we'll also see another set of state elections as well.
Legislative cycles will be starting soon. What are the issues that matter most to you? Voter suppression and the other barriers that limit our access to democracy—they're not going to rest. So neither can we.
Folks are staying on top of what needs to happen. We need to keep calm. We need to take care of each other, and we need to be alert and vigilant.
We voted, now what? We pay attention to what's going on, we follow and keep in touch with folks to find out what's the next move.
We build capacity with our folks in our community.
Not only do we make a plan for what's happening right now, we make a plan going forward past the inauguration, we make a plan for those first 100 days, and we make a plan for the first year.
We need to share good information so that folks, like your people in your community in your organizing spaces, aren't flustered and freaking out about what's happening right now.
Take a deep breath with me. Because it's gonna be alright.
1.8 million eligible North Carolina voters didn't cast ballots in 2020. Trump won the state by 74,481.
For Troy Culbertson from Salisbury, his reason for not voting is deeper than candidate likeability or political affiliation. He doesn't believe voting helps the Black community.
What questions do you have about this election? Text us at (919) 642-1858, or sign up using the form below. We'll respond, investigate, or connect you with someone locally who can help.
Five Peachy Takeaways: Georgia's grassroots organizing lessons will be valuable in the South for a long time coming
Movement journalist Anoa Changa sets the record straight on the long-overlooked and mischaracterized stories of grassroots organizers transforming Georgia—and on the path to victory in other Southern states.
The 2021 redistricting cycle may mark the first time in nearly 50 years that Texas will be able to implement new legislative and congressional districts without having to prove ahead of time that the maps don't undermine the electoral power of voters of color.
Georgia's absentee voting policies benefit Democrats, but they were originally created by Republicans
Republicans in the Legislature and the Republican secretary of state have led the way for absentee-ballot reform and the ease of voting. Now it's benefiting the Democratic Party.
Inconsistent record-keeping, mismanaged funds, and an arduous and confusing bureaucratic process keep thousands of potential voters off the records in Tennessee.
The 2020 election solidified the rise of a new power in the South with a clarion call toward justice and equity for all. The emerging values that are centered in direct, year-round organizing also need to be reflected in the way media coverage operates and exists.
Although the conversation of whether journalism is—or should be—"unbiased" is hopefully nearing consensus and extinction, implicit policies of nonvoting in newsrooms can intimidate young, would-be politically active people to keep quiet at the risk of their livelihoods in the media.
"Like most Southern churchgoers, our happiest moments were made around food, and our summer evening trips to the Goodberry's Frozen Custard stand after worship team practice. But on March 5, 2012, everything changed."
The political establishment's strategy for the most part has been forced to align with Black-youth led movements like Black Lives Matter as they gain in popularity, meanwhile scolding their most anti-establishment objectives like Defund the Police.
The archetype of the Southern Christian voter is conservative, fundamentalist, capitalistic, and nationalistic. But the religious left has been organizing along progressive lines since well before the Civil Rights movement.
We're going to find out one way or another how this thing shakes out.
Then we're going to continue to plan.
We're going to take care of each other and we're going to move forward.
We have more seats to pick up.
We have more wins.
We have more opportunity ahead of us.