Education, registration and voter participation is the buzz……
By Janice Hayes, (W.E.B.)
It has been almost 20 years since Operation Big Vote in Broward first began a massive effort to increase voter turnout. Operation Big Vote is a non-partisan grassroots organization whose mission is to enhance voter participation and education. Operation Big Vote is dedicated to increasing civic engagement and reducing voter apathy in the Black community and other underserved and marginalized communities.
“We are not just asking people to vote, we are asking people to BE A VOTER,” Diana Brown says. “To be a voter implies ownership and rather than just an act of voting.”
Dr. Dorsey Miller, Bobby R. Henry, Sr., Rodney Baltimore, Diana Brown, Bobbie Grace, Henry Graham, Art Kennedy, Ernestine Price, Sheryl Dickey and many other prominent community leaders are spearheading the latest Operation Big Vote efforts across Broward County. They are collaborating with a diverse constituency base including churches, fraternities and sororities, community associations, civic/social organizations, labor, businesses, professional organizations, and other local, state and national groups.
“We are shooting for 100 percent turnout of registered voters; 99 and a half won’t do,” Dr. Dorsey Miller says. “That’s our new slogan, that’s our mantra. I know it sounds like an overly aggressive goal, but we are committed to our cause which is to create an enlightened community by engaging every-one in the election process through volunteerism and voting.”
According to statistics compiled by the United States Elections Project, the percentage of eligible voters who have cast their ballots during the presidential elections have ranged from about 49 percent to 63 percent and even lower among Black registered voters. Operation Big Vote is implementing a very robust plan – get Black voters registered and to the polls.
“It’s one thing to say that you understand the need to vote, but it is a shameful disgrace to say that you are not voting just because…, well if you don’t take someone to the polls who will?” says Bobby R. Henry, Sr., publisher of the Westside Gazette.
Operation Big Vote will be conducting voter education for-ums, voter rallies, motorcades, transportation to the polls, volunteer opportunities, access to information on voting and other assistance to combat barriers to voting. Operation Big Vote plans to utilize every mode of communication, including social media to accomplish their goals.
Operation Big Vote is pulling out all the stops to get Broward County excited, energized and engaged in the upcoming elections. They are planning prize giveaways, entertainment, contests, events and other creative strategies to reach out to intermittent voters, rare voters and unregistered voters. They are seeking volunteers to assist with the various aspects of this massive effort.
For additional information or if you are interested in joining or volunteering with Operation Big Vote, please contact Dr. Dorsey Miller (954) 298-4042, Sheryl Dickey (954) 467-6822, Bobbie Grace (954) 396-0941.