Scalawag is answering your questions about voter suppression in the South.
On the precipice of a historic election in a global pandemic, as anti-racist action confronts increasing authoritarianism, voting is under attack, y'all—especially in the South.
What's going down in your community? Let us know. Scalawag reporters and Anoa Changa are responding directly to your texts, questions, and tips.
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 As The South Votes team reflects on their own political journeys—both as journalists, and as active agents of change in democracy.
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.
What questions do you have about voting? Text us at (919) 642-1858, or sign up using the form below. We'll investigate, or connect you with someone locally who can help.
Tools & more reporting
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."
As The South Votes: Sara Ghazal on misinformation about Georgia's 2020 election audit, and the history of North Carolina's own party politics nightmare.
Scalawag checked in with two community leaders—divided in their presidential support, but united in grassroots organizing—before, during, and in the days following the 2020 election cycle to see how groups on the ground in Tennessee are mobilizing for action in the days to come.
To prevent abhorrent state-run voter suppression and police brutality, look to local action beyond election years
Law enforcement's justification of an attack on voters and others peacefully demonstrating based on their failure to immediately disperse after a moment of silence is not a new example of voter suppression in North Carolina.
The voting period of the 2020 election may be over, but the count—and the work—continues. Anoa walks us through a few 2020 election highlights and what we can do now that we've cast our ballots.
A full two decades since we collectively learned about hanging chads, the language around elections is more confusing than ever.
Casting your ballot in person on Election Day in 2020 comes with risks, but poll workers say these common problems are the easiest to avoid.
Creating openings for anti-racist progress within electoral politics has not become less controversial over the last several decades. This year, the South faces a historical moment both grounded in similarities and yet wholly unprecedented.
While voter suppression remains a concern in many states, organizations like the New Georgia Project and MOVE Texas are helping people fully participate in democracy. Recognizing the power of those often left behind by traditional political campaigns, these organizations are reimagining the culture of voting and civic engagement.
As the South Votes contributor Courtney Napier highlights some important down-ballot races in North Carolina and how voters everywhere can find the information they need to avoid issue fatigue.
Iliana reports on challenges in Tennessee's transgender community, and Anoa walks us through the basics of Voter ID laws across the South.
Alongside widespread concerns with the processing of mail-in ballots, voters across the South are preparing to reckon with a new threat on Election Day: Right-wing, armed poll-watchers.
On this episode of As the South Votes, Cliff Albright of Black Voters Matter Fund joins us to talk through an overview of voter suppression, what it looks like, and what people can do ahead of the upcoming election to protect their vote.
J. Sailor Jones, campaign director at Democracy North Carolina, joins the show to walk through the process of voting by mail in North Carolina and discuss a few challenges and tips for minimizing difficulty casting a ballot.
Host Anoa Changa walks through the basics of vote by mail, availability of vote by mail in different states, early voting as an alternative, and the importance of having a vote plan ahead of the 2020 election.
more election coverage
Helpful links and frequently asked questions:
Have something to add to this list?
Text us at (919) 642-1858
If you directly observe any signs of voter intimidation at your polling place, document the incident on your smartphone's camera (if possible) and notify the election official on site.
Not sure if you're already registered to vote, or need to update your information? Check your information by state here.
Report incidents of voter suppression to The Advancement Project—a nonprofit civil rights organization—by calling 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683)
Is your uncle posting fake news again? Here are a few suggestions from our friends at PEN America about how to talk to friends and family who share misinformation.
Electionline provides nonpartisan, nonpolitical resources on election administration at the state and national level.
Advancement Project National Office has developed a messaging guide to help voting rights advocates discuss voting rights with a racial justice lens. This multi-part guide highlights the complexity of vote-by-mail and provides counterpoints to false claims about the process.
From the Southern Movement Assembly's People's Democracy Assembly, each state section below includes details about:
- Accessible voting for persons with disabilities
- Important dates and deadlines (Including registration deadlines and absentee/vote-by-mail) deadlines
- Voter registration information, eligibility, and how to register—online, by mail, or in person
- How to vote in-person: Early voting periods, hours, where to vote, what to bring (photo ID requirements)
- Mail-in voting application process, eligibility, and tracking
More resources from our partners:
Black Voters Matter Fund has state-level COVID-19 relief resources available for communities in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
Democracy North Carolina staffs an Election Protection Hotline to provide real-time voter information and field voting problems. Contact the Election Protection Hotline at 888-OUR-VOTE (888-687-8683)
North Carolina's Forward Justice is answering questions and concerns about felony disenfranchisement. See their FAQ page, and email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 877-880-VOTE (877-880-8683)
The New Georgia Project is committed to ensuring free and fair elections for all Georgia voters. Have you submitted your Georgia voter registration information but don't show up in the Secretary of State's system? Let them know what issues you're experiencing with this form.
Out the South but still about the South?
Check out the coverage over at Belt Magazine for more on the vote-by-mail issues specific to the Midwest.
Does my voter registration move with me? How do I change my mailing address for mail ballot or absentee ballot delivery, but keep my residential address the same? Find answers to questions like these from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission's FAQ page.
More from Scalawag:
Voter suppression reporting and urgent information for voters in Southern states including: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. Walking through common questions around the upcoming November 2020 election, and issues with the postal service around absentee ballots. How to cast your ballot, send in a mail-in ballot, find resources for voting in person, avoid voter intimidation at the polls, and what to do when someone tries to keep you from voting. Investigating racist laws and providing tools and strategies for underserved and marginalized communities.