African Americans Vote Early in Battleground State

    Chris Simkins
    The U.S. presidential election is approaching, and excitement is building in key states where voters could determine the outcome if the race is close. The contest between President Obama and Mitt Romney in North Carolina is too close to call and African Americans are turning out for early voting.

    Early voting is underway in North Carolina and, for African American voters like Walter Gilmore, there's a sense of urgency.

    "I am just worried in general for jobs.  So many people in North Carolina are unemployed and then trying to get people back to work here instead of shipping jobs overseas," said Walter Gilmore, a North Carolina voter.

    A record turnout among African Americans helped Barack Obama narrowly win the state four years ago.  In the presidential contest this time, the Republican - Mitt Romney - seems to have the edge but it's close.  North Carolinians are divided on who they want to lead the country.

    These college students are voting for the first time.  

    "What won North Carolina was the early African-American vote especially the college students. We have a big influence," said one.

    "We need every vote, every vote so encourage him to come and do one stop," said another.

    Alma Adams knows first hand how important it is for Democrats to get African Americans to the polls.  She's served in North Carolina's legislature for more than 18 years.  She says turnout among blacks so far is impressive.

    "That says to me that people really want to get involved in this process and they understand the urgency of it, and that is so critical," said Adams.
     
    Adams is popular here because she supports quality education, jobs and increasing the state's minimum wage.

    "We need to try to find ways to get people back to work get good jobs for people, good benefits," she said.

    Republican Party candidate Olga Wright is challenging Adams for her seat in the state legislature. She's one of only a few African-American Republicans running for office here.   

    She promotes popular ideas like improving education and helping at-risk families.  Wright says convincing Democrats to support her is an uphill battle.

    "I separate myself from the political divisiveness that propels everything. You know people will not look at me because I am a registered Republican.  Party does not matter," said Wright.

    On the campaign trail, Adams tells constituents she will fight against budget cuts to programs that matter to her community.

    "So we have got one or two things to do - run for office and try to help make a difference there or control those people who are elected to serve you," she said.

    Adams and other community leaders say the fact that more African Americans are involved in the political process is a hopeful sign.
    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora