Human Rights Campaign Foundation & HIT Strategies Release Research on Voters of Color & Vote by Mail

Today, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and HIT Strategies released the first results of a national survey of voters of color, including LGBTQ voters of color, to determine voter sentiment in regards to vote by mail. Conducted in partnership with major advocacy organizations, including Latino Victory Foundation, the NAACP, UnidosUS, and Woke Vote, this survey shows key commonalities — as well as critical differences — in how voters from different communities view the current voting climate. 

Tonight at 7:30 PM EST, on the anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, Human Rights Campaign Foundation President Alphonso David, NAACP President Derrick Johnson, UnidosUS President & CEO Janet Murguía, and Latino Victory Foundation President and CEO Nathalie Rayes will discuss the results of this survey in a panel moderated by Jamal Simmons, CBS News analyst and host of #ThisisFYI on IGTV. Interested press should RSVP with matilda.young@hrc.org. 

“Voters across the country this fall will be facing unprecedented challenges in how to safely make their voices heard in the pivotal election ahead,” said Human Rights Campaign Foundation President Alphonso David. “As these results show, voters are hopeful, resilient and ready to cast their votes this November — from the ballot box to the mailbox. Along with our partners, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation looks forward to educating and empowering voters in how they can safely and effectively have their say in the future of our democracy. ” 

“Part of increasing voter turnout and engagement means meeting people where they are,” said Dejuana Thompson, Founder of Woke Vote. “We need to make sure voters are both empowered and excited to cast their ballots. The results of this survey provide meaningful pointers for how we can help voters navigate these uncertain times to safely and successfully cast their ballots.” 

“This year’s general election will present some unique obstacles. Our findings show how we can work to prepare and rise to this historic moment, and voting by mail is an important tool in doing so,” said UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía. “The Latino vote will be a decisive factor in the electoral equation and we at UnidosUS, along with our sister organizations, are committed to making sure Latinos and all communities have the information and tools needed to make their voices heard in November.” 

“The 55th Anniversary of The Voting Rights Act reminds us that the right to vote has not come easy and was hard-fought,” said Derrick Johnson, President and CEO, NAACP. “As we live through this COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical that the governmental agencies responsible have the resources they need to create a safe and fair election environment without risking lives. The research tells us that in our communities, we need multiple options for every voter to cast a ballot by mail or in person. This year is vital for elections, and we must vote because our lives depend on it, otherwise what we fought for 55 years ago will be in vain.” 

“Latinos are disproportionately affected by Covid-19 and that makes our communities especially vulnerable. We’re the second-largest voting bloc in this election, so we need to focus on increasing our efforts to ensure Latino voters are able to cast their ballots safely during this election,” said Nathalie Rayes, Latino Victory Foundation President & CEO. “The results of this survey will help guide Latino Victory’s and our partner organizations’ work to engage and mobilize Latino voters in this unprecedented election.” 

“Communities of color, being disproportionately impacted by this pandemic, are seeking safe and secure alternatives to make their voices heard in this election,” said Terrance Woodbury, HIT Strategies. “This research reveals the real and perceived barriers that voters of color have toward voting by mail, and the interventions that can be taken to overcome those barriers.” 

Key takeaways from the research include: 

76% of POC voters think the coronavirus crisis will affect who votes in the 2020 election, and 73% of POC voters think the protests following the death of George Floyd will affect who votes in the 2020 election. 

68% of POC voters will either vote in person early or by mail, including 59% of APPI voters stating that voting by mail is their current voting preference. 

75% of POC voters, including 76% of Black voters and 79% of POC LGBTQ voters, are more likely to vote by mail in November if we still don’t have a cure or vaccine for coronavirus. 

80% of POC voters, including 84% of Black voters and 80% of LGBTQ POC voters, favor allowing all voters the option of vote by mail or absentee ballot in this year’s election. 

In terms of voters’ feelings towards the November election, the highest rated feeling was hopeful, at 34% of those surveyed. 

The initial survey included a sample of over 800 individuals from across the U.S, including Florida, Wisconsin, Texas, and Georgia. This research is still ongoing, and results will continue to be released through November. 

For a link to a slide deck with results, click here.

For a link to tonight livestream at 7:30 PM EST, click here.

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