HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – With election day just around the corner, it’s crunch time — not only for the candidates, but also for organizations like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) as they continue their efforts to get more people to turn out on Tuesday.
“It’s real important for us to be here because of the vote,” said Democratic candidate for governor Parker Griffith. He was one of six politicians in attendance at the “Get Out the Vote” rally hosted by the Huntsville-Madison County NAACP. Candidates were invited to speak and answer questions from the audience.
District 19 House Representative Laura Hall (D), District 53 House Representative candidates Chris Horn (R), Anthony Daniels (D), Madison County tax assessor candidate Patrick Douglass (D), and Madison County Sheriff candidate Tim Clardy (D) were the other politicians present that will be on the ballot Tuesday.
“I don’t want a landslide or a history-making victory,” said Clardy. “I need one vote. That’s one vote more than my opponent.”
Clardy and other candidates know that one vote could come from someone at the rally.
“It’s very important because we need to get our young people involved and educated,” said TC Johnson, pastor of the Saint Luke Missionary Baptist Church.
Based on some members of the audience — mission accomplished. There were nearly a dozen first-time voters in attendance.
“I just turned 18 this year, it’s going to be my first time voting,” said Derry Ellis. “I though it was important to be here because it’s not everyday that you get to see the candidates while you’re trying to vote.
And for the candidates, that face time with the voter population is priceless.
“When I’m face-to-face with you, and you ask me a question, I can give you an honest answer right there,” said Clardy.
“We believe that a good discussion of issues is the best form of democracy,” said Griffith.
The NAACP event is a push to get more African-Americans to voice their choice.
“It’s the way that we’ve changed the structure of things, community-wide, state-wide, and nationwide,” said Johnson.
“The African-American community needs to understand that their vote is important, and their input is important to the issues,”
The NAACP also provided information on photo identification, precinct locations, and free rides to polls on election day.