During the 2016 Black History Festival, we aided the Voter Education and Registration Drive as it actively encouraged the Carlisle community to become more politically engaged. Acknowledging that the greater community may not of been fully aware of the extent of their civic duty as eligible voters, the Voter Education and Registration Drive wanted to equip the community with the education needed to exercise their full citizenship and express their own political agency. Our duties as volunteer voting advocates were centered around drawing attention to the voter stand, providing concise information about the registration process and expressing the power of ordinary people can have on a local and national level through voting. After that, we then aided those who were interested in the registration process fill out the official documentation needed to register. As we emphasized to all who asked what was the importance of their vote, historically, people of color have been disenfranchised and marginalized from the political process. The fight to vote was a tremendous victory for people of color as it gave them a stake in the politics of this country and through such, a voice in which they could use to be heard when combating the injustices the United States government system has had against people of color.
After the Black History Festival, we were in agreement that the Voter Education and Registration Drive was an important initiative that should continue to persist and develop in Carlisle. In the one day of we worked at the drive, it was evident that the number of people who were unfamiliar with the political process was concerning. The need of a revitalized effort to educate the community about the importance of voting was clear. We came to the conclusion that the Voter Education and Registration Drive could be sustained if expanded beyond an occasional initiative, but rather transformed it into a long-term program. A long-term voter education and registration program would be able to travel to different schools, community organizations, and events as a means to encourage people to vote and explain the importance of engaging in politics, along with its history in regard to marginalized groups of people. In addition to making the initiative a long-term program, the formation of workshops for the program’s volunteers would also be needed as the means of equipping volunteer voting advocates with fundamental knowledge on politics to better educate a wider community.
Karl Lyn ’18
Kennedy Lewis ’19
Sofina Odero ’18