Over 300 Lawyers and Law Students will lead the Massive

Seven-State “Black Ballots, Black Futures 2022″

Voter Protection Organizing Campaign

As Black voters prepare to cast their ballots in the critical 2022 midterm elections amid sweeping new voter suppression laws across the country, the Young Black Lawyers’ Organizing Coalition (YBLOC) today launched its “Black Ballots, Black Futures 2022” voter protection organizing campaign.

Over 300 young Black lawyers and law students will span across Arkansas, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Texas to host voter protection education sessions in partnership with the community institutions Black Voters know and trust.

The seven-state push will be among the largest Black-led voter education efforts to train Black voters to identify and resist voter suppression tactics to ensure that their ballots are counted.

These sessions aim to equip an estimated 60,000 Black voters with the information they need to protect their vote and help amplify this message in their communities.

“YBLOC is mobilizing one of the most ambitious voter protection organizing campaigns in history because inclusive democracy hangs in the balance in November,” said Abdul Dosunmu, YBLOC’s founder and chief strategist. “Our intention is to proactively ready Black voters to do what we have always done: fight the barriers of voter suppression and insist on our right to be heard.”

YBLOC, in partnership with the Center for Civic Design, recently conducted a focus group in Dallas to understand in greater detail the impact voter suppression laws have on Black voters. The finds from the focus group reveal that:

All partnership had experienced difficulty voting in the past. This included long wait times, understaffed polling places, a lack of signage to identify polling places, and closed election centers.

Participants indicated that Texas’s State Bill 1 and similar voter suppression bills across the country have impacted Black voters’ trust in the election process. The focus group participants noted feelings of voter suppression, information deprivation, and concern about the increased criminalization of voter assistants.

Participants expressed an overall lack of information from state and local election officials. This included information about where and how they could cast their ballot and important election dates/deadlines.

“It is vital that our voter protection education efforts are community-informed and rooted in the concrete experiences of Black voters,” said Dosunmu. “This focus group provided important data on how voter suppression laws and tactics are impacting Black voters and further underscored that our democracy is at a precipice.”

YBLOC and a coalition of organizations representing the Black legal community launched “Pass Her the Gavel,” a letter-writing and public engagement campaign that supported a fair confirmation process for Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. As part of the ongoing grassroots effort to protect and empower the Black electorate, YBLOC filed an amicus brief in LUPE, et al. v. Abbott, the federal lawsuit that challenged Texas’s voter suppression law, Senate Bill 1. The brief outlines how Senate Bill 1 harms Black voters and the civic organizations that serve them.

About the Young Black Lawyers’ Organizing Coalition (YBLOC)

The Young Black Lawyers’ Organizing Coalition (YBLOC)

(YBLOC) is a nonpartisan, community-centered movement of young Black lawyers and law students working to protect and empower the Black electorate through voter education and strategic advocacy. The national organization works in collaboration with Black grassroots communities to fight for full access to electoral democracy and realize full electoral voice.