In what can only be a bittersweet moment for residents in Ferguson, Missouri, the city has witnessed a surge in voter registration following the shooting of a black unarmed teenager by white police officer Darren Wilson.
Since Michael Brown’s death, 3,287 people out of the 4,839 in St. Louis County who have registered to vote are residents of Ferguson. The soaring numbers of registered voters may change the white landscape of the city’s elected representatives in an area that’s predominantly African-American.
“It’s a great move when people come out and register in mass like that,” St. Louis 3rd Ward Committeeman Anthony Bell said, according to USA Today. “They are sending a signal that we want a change. It doesn’t give justice to the Michael Brown family but it will in the future give justice to how the administration is run in a local municipality like Ferguson.”
Anthony Gray, an attorney who represents Brown’s family, said citizens of Ferguson could enact real change come the November elections.
“It could completely change the political landscape, the power structure, (and) the decision making,” he told USA Today. “The service to the African American community would almost quadruple because they would be viewed as a credible and legitimate voting block.”
The surge is quite an accomplishment, but as St. Louis County director Rita Days points out, it all comes down to election day.
Days said her office has been fielding calls from individuals and groups asking how to register people to vote. The NAACP, League of Women Voters, sororities and fraternities have taken classes. Others have picked up handfuls of registration cards to encourage people to mail in their registrations.
Registering more than 3,000 people in a month and a half is a significant accomplishment, Days said. She added that the real test will be how many people show up to the polls.
More power to Ferguson. We’ll be staying tuned.
SOURCE: Huffington Post, USA Today | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty
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