Tampa Bay Times, Chadwick Leonard:
Chadwick Leonard is Florida state coordinator of the Fair Elections Center’s Campus Vote Project and manager of the organizations HBCU Legacy Initiative. He wrote this exclusively for the Tampa Bay Times.
I work with students at our state’s HBCUs, helping them make their voting plans and providing them with information about the process, so they can make informed choices in November. And I often see the effects of not only disenfranchisement, but also the refusal of many candidates to engage with students, particularly at HBCUs.
Despite the long tradition of students at HBCUs leading political movements — Vice Presidential Nominee Kamala Harris is notably an alum of Howard University — in 2016, there was a huge decline of student voter participation. Particularly, there was a 5.3 percent decrease in total Black student voting compared to the 2012 General Election and at HBCUs the decrease was 10.6 percent. There was a turnaround of this trend with student voting rates more than doubling in 2018 over 2014. In a swing state like Florida, where elections can be decided by only a few thousand votes, which trend we see this election really matters.
Read the full article here.