While COVID-19 has killed 225,000 people in the U.S., from all racial and socio-economic backgrounds, it has been twice as lethal for Black Americans. The resulting economic recession cost 22 million people their jobs, but disproportionately impacted people of color. And the slow economic recovery is playing out along racial lines, too: by September, only 7% of white workers were still unemployed, compared to 12% of Black ones. Meanwhile, police violence and its aftermath has an uneven impact on communities of color
Speaker Series panel at the Robertson School: Samantha Willis (top left), Kym Grinnage (top right), Elliott Robinson (bottom left), Calvin Anthony Duncan (bottom middle), and Danita Rountree Green (bottom right).
Elliott Robinson, the news editor at Charlottesville Tomorrow and a member of the board of SPJ Virginia Pro, will be on a panel discussion at 5 p.m. Tuesday (Oct. 6) on “Race, Media, and the 2020 Election.”
The free online event is part of the virtual Speaker Series sponsored by the Robertson School of Media and Culture at Virginia Commonwealth University. The other panelists are:
Kym Grinnage, vice president and general manager, NBC 12
Danita Rountree Green, author, and Co-CEO of Coming To The Table-RVA
Calvin Anthony Duncan, pastor and founder, Faith and Family Church
Samantha Willis, independent journalist, and writer
Moderating the panel discussion will be Dr. Aloni Hill, assistant professor of journalism in the Robertson School, and Robb Crocker, podcaster, digital journalist, and doctoral student in VCU’s Media, Art, and Text program. The event is co-sponsored by the new VCU student chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ).
At 6 p.m. on the following Tuesday (Oct. 13), SPJ Virginia Pro has organized an online event featuring Dorothy Butler Gilliam, the first Black woman reporter at The Washington Post and author of a recent memoir. Details on that event are at:
The Oct. 13 event will be moderated by Diane Walker, an anchor at NBC 12, and a member of the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame. It is co-sponsored by the VCU Robertson School and the BND Institute of Media and Culture.
Over the first few days of early voting, a number of Virginians who had previously requested absentee ballots but had not received those ballots appeared at registrar’s offices and satellite locations across the Commonwealth to vote in person. The statute governing this situation, Va. Code § 24.2-708(B), was unclear, so we sought clarification.As the ELECT guidance explains “[i]f the voter states either they have not received their mail ballot or have lost their mail ballot,” the voter should be directed to sign SBE-708 (the “Gold Form”) and be allowed to vote a regular ballot after doing so. Please confirm that your registrar has seen this guidance and is in conformity with it.
(NB: This only applies to the early voting period; on Election Day, the voter must cast a provisional ballot. However, unlike other provisional ballots that require the voter to take further action to “cure” an issue, these provisional ballots will automatically convert into a regular ballot once the locality’s electoral board confirms that the absentee ballot was not cast.)
Additionally, the guidance notes that “it is not appropriate for election officials to question a voter who states that they have not received or lost their mail ballot.” So long as the voter “has  applied for and has  been sent an absentee ballot,” § 24.2-708(B) applies if “for any reason . . . [the voter] does not receive the ballot[.]”
If a voter has received their previously requested absentee ballot but prefers to vote in person, they should bring the ballot with them to the early voting location to exchange for a regular ballot. If they do not bring the ballot with them, they will have to vote a provisional ballot—but that provisional will automatically convert after the electoral board confirms the absentee ballot was not cast.
The last day to register or to update/correct your voter registration records ahead of the next election is TUESDAY, OCTOBER 13. If you do not register by then, you will not be able to vote. If your records are out-of-date, you’ll have to cast a provisional ballot, which may or may not be counted.
As of September 18, Virginians can begin voting in one of the most consequential elections of our lifetimes. Thanks to recently passed laws, Virginia is one of the easiest places to cast your ballot. These laws include:
• No photo-ID requirement
• No-excuse absentee voting
• 45-day early voting period
• Election Day is a state holiday
Additionally, the General Assembly recently approved measures to ensure voting by mail is even safer and secure this year, including:
• Pre-paid postage on absentee ballots
• Secure ballot drop-off locations in every locality
• Notifying voters if their absentee ballot was rejected because of an error and allowing them to correct the error
Early In-Person Voting
If you choose to vote in-person, you may do so starting tomorrow at your local registrar’s office or satellite voting location. Early in-person voting runs through Saturday, October 31. You can look up your registrar’s hours and information here.
Remember to bring an acceptable form of identification, though you will still be able to vote without an ID if you sign a sworn ID Confirmation Statement.
Absentee Voting By Mail
Registrars will begin mailing absentee ballots on September 18 to voters who request them. You may find your Registrar’s contact information here. Mailed ballots may be returned via USPS or other mail delivery service, or by dropping it off in person at your registrar’s office or at an official ballot drop-off location in your locality. For more information, go to www.voteva.us
However you choose to cast your ballot, it’s critical that you vote and make your voice heard!
NAACP Volunteer – Civic Engagement Program
Black voices change lives! Volunteer today. Make history in November.
There are three different ways you can vote this year!
What’s your plan?
1 Vote by Mail
Click here to apply online to vote absentee by mail. The deadline to apply is Oct. 23.
2 Vote Early In-person
You can vote early at your local registrar’s office beginning Sept. 18 and ending Oct. 31. To check that you are registered to vote, click here.To find the location and hours for early voting in your county, call your local registrar’s office, click here.You do not have to have a reason or fill out an application to vote early. You will need to show an acceptable form of ID or sign an ID Confirmation Statement. To view a complete list of acceptable IDs, click here. Accessible equipment and/or curbside voting is available upon request.
3 Vote In-Person on Election Day
The polls will be open from 6 AM until 7 PM on November 3. Find your polling location here.
Need more help? Call the Virginia Department of Elections (804) 864-8901
In the last two weeks, many Virginia voters received absentee ballot applications in the mail even though they didn’t request one. This was done by a non-partisan organization whose intent was to increase voter turnout.
The easiest and most secure way to request an absentee ballot is to go online to the Virginia Dept. of Elections website – LINK:
The Virginia Department of Elections has a dedicated Citizens Portal for all matters related to voting and elections. You can register to vote, update your voter registration information, and verify the correct addresses of your registrar’s office and your polling location. Most importantly, to protect our election, we encourage you to use this secure channel to apply online to vote by mail in the November 3, 2020, General Election.
If you have already applied for an absentee ballot and are wondering why you haven’t received it yet, the first day that absentee ballots will be mailed to voters is September 18, 2020. No need to submit a new application–just track the status of your application using the Citizens Portal.
After you complete your ballot and mail it back to be counted, track the status of your ballot using the Citizens Portal. The return envelope has a tracking label unique to your voter registration information to protect your vote.
While the Virginia Department of Elections has no official affiliation or coordination with any third-party group, it has issued an official statement letting voters know that if you used a third party to mail your application, any applications that arrive in the wrong locality’s office will be forwarded immediately to the correct registrar’s office for processing.
Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy 1716 E. Franklin Street Richmond, VA 23223
An astonishing amount has happened in the weeks since the slow-motion execution of George Floyd.
In every state and around the world, people of all colors, genders, and ages have joined together to march in fury and in hope, to renounce the past and redeem the future.
Since then, the chokehold that killed George Floyd has been banned in 20 cities and counting. Confederate monuments have toppled or have (finally) removed by officials. Around the country, communities are pushing police out of schools, and considering how to slash law enforcement budgets and reinvest the funds to address the root problems that police are so ill-equipped to handle.
But too much has also stayed the same.
Since George Floyd’s murder, police have killed Black men in Georgia and California. Around the country, six Black people have been found hanging from trees, supposed suicides that chillingly resemble lynchings and have sparked demands for investigations. And as of now, no charges have been filed against the Louisville police officers who broke into Breonna Taylor’s home and shot her dead as she slept.
The hard truth is that America still has not extended the ideals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to the Black community. And even centuries after our very own ancestors built this country from the ground up, the consequences of chattel slavery are still painfully reflected in the system of racism that is so thoroughly embedded in our nation’s social, economic, and political systems.
The good news is that the recent protests are evidence that true freedom is within our grasp. We have a chance now to escalate the energy of this moment and move from protest to power to policy change—as long as those of us who care about civil rights and social justice keep up the fight.
So on this Fourth of July, we’re calling on everyone to not let this moment slip through our hands. Let’s all pledge to continue doing the hard, necessary work of pushing toward a better and more just future for our families and our country.
Over the last several weeks, we’ve witnessed what the world has never seen before.
All 50 states, dozens of countries, and hundreds of thousands of people across the globe have stood up in this moment of solidarity and offered the resounding statement: Enough is enough!
And now recognizing that our very lives depend on the actions we take next, it has never been more important for us to recognize the power that we have in this moment through our VOTE.
The NAACP has launched our Early Volunteer Program website to help us mobilize voters to take action in November. This customized site will provide up to date information surrounding state primary elections, NAACP election activities, and opportunities for you to lead your community to the polls.
Our lives depend on how we advocate for ourselves today. By adding your voice and your impact, YOU can help chart the course for our future.
Thousands have already joined us, but we need your voice as well.
Help us to ensure that democracy works for us all.
The Culpeper branch of the NAACP holds its regular monthly meeting at 7 p.m. on the 3rd Thursday of each month. We are currently meeting at Antioch Baptist Church at 202 S. West Street, Culpeper, 22701. All are welcome; you do not have to be a member to attend.