2020 Elections

With Days Left, Black Voters Face Orchestrated Efforts to Discourage Voting

Misinformation tactics are targeting potential voters

A sign directing voters to the absentee ballot drop-box at one of the Satellite Voting Center inside Northwest Activity Center during early U.S. Presidential Election voting in Detroit, Michigan on Thursday, October 15, 2020.
Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images

At Joe Biden’s town hall meeting on Thursday, Cedrick Humphrey, a young Black man from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, asked a question central to some of the most recent misinformation tactics at play in the election.

“Many people believe that the true swing demographic in this election will be Black voters under the age of 30, not because they’ll be voting for Trump, but because they won’t vote at all,” he said, adding that he shared this sentiment. “What do you have to say to young Black voters who see voting for you as further participation in a system that continuously fails to protect them?”

Biden answered by pointing to the importance of voting, and to the need to give Black Americans the means to amass wealth and improve access to education.

The question Humphrey posed to the former vice president and the Democratic presidential nominee is part of a broader trend unfolding in the final days before the election. Among all of the social media disinformation campaigns that have preyed on voters in the run-up to Nov. 3, one domestic-originated tactic has become particularly troubling. Some Black social media influencers as well as Black community groups on Facebook who are more progressive than Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, are targeting Black voters less by deceiving them and more by what experts describe as voter depression.

For more on this story, go to NBC News.

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