Local organizations celebrate SC Black Voter Day, will offer free rides to precincts

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Organizations in Spartanburg joined together at Beacon Inn to celebrate the official declaration of South Carolina Black Voter Day.

The resolution to declare October 6th, 2020 as South Carolina Black Voter Day passed in the House after Rep. Rosalyn Henderson-Myers for House District 31 in Spartanburg led the fight at the state capitol.

“There’s a prevailing view in South Carolina that one person’s vote won’t count but I say to people ‘Each vote counts’. That vote can determine the president of the United States. That vote can determine a Senate member,” Rep. Henderson-Myers said.

Several organizers, including SIREN and Upstate Action Alliance urged black voters to exercise their constitutional right to vote on Nov. 3rd and to make the experience comfortable. Whether that means bringing chairs to wait in line, bottles of water and even bringing a family member or friend along with you, they want black voices heard by any means necessary.

“Your vote counts. Your vote matters. Your vote counts and matters because who decides what roads get paved? Who decides the amount of money that goes to education? Who decides on health policy? Elected leaders,” Charles Mann, co-founder of Upstate Action Alliance said.

According to Rep. Henderson-Myers, 890,000 black voters in the state of South Carolina were registered to vote in 2018 but less than half of those voters casted a ballot during the midterm elections.

“These laws affect them and they need to understand that and they need to make sure they exercise their right to vote because voting is your voice. That’s how you exercise your constitutional right to make a difference in this country,” Rep. Henderson-Myers said.

One of the most pressing issues for marginalized black communities statewide is the lack of free transportation to and from the voting precincts.

“Particularly during the in-person absentee voting. We have one location which is downtown. If you live at the farthest part of the county, how are you going to get to vote absentee?” Mann said.

The Upstate Action Alliance is partnering with several local churches in Spartanburg including Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church to provide free transportation to the polls for the next few weeks for black voters in need.

“We have as many as 10 busses and 10 cars, and if you call we’ll make sure you get some transportation,” Mann said.

For free shuttle service to the polls starting on Oct. 6th:

Call 864-381-8244 or upstateaction@gmail.com

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