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Roger Vann for Stanford Social Innovation Review: Why We’re Targeting the Hardest to Reach Voters

A black man deposits a ballot into a voting box.
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First published in Stanford Social Innovation Review.

For Black Americans, the right to vote has never come easy. After centuries of systemic legal exclusion, our ancestors marched and shed blood time and time again for the right to cast a ballot and secure a place in American democracy. Nearly six decades after the Voting Rights Act of 1965, this struggle continues, with a rising tide of authoritarianism that deploys voter suppression as one of its most insidious weapons.

Today, Black men are major targets. In 2008 and 2012, with Barack Obama on the ballot, a record number of Black men turned out to vote. In response, the far right spread disinformation across major social media platforms to discourage Black voters. As a Senate inquiry concluded, Russian operatives and troll farms targeted “no single group … more than African-Americans.” Black voters saw messages like, “Our Votes Don’t Matter” and “Not one represents Black people. Don’t go to vote.”

Read the full article in Stanford Social Innovation Review.