FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE–February 19, 2020

Report: “Powerful Impact” Explains High Turnout Among Voters of Color in 2019 LA Elections

Power Coalition for Equity and Justice releases report detailing our 2019 get-out-the-vote campaign, and the impact our work and the work of our coalition partners had on voter-of-color turnout during last year’s statewide elections.

NEW ORLEANS, LA | February 19, 2020—Turnout among voters of color was decisive in shaping the outcome of Louisiana’s state elections last year. More than 50 percent of registered Black voters turned out for the runoff election on November 16, accounting for 31 percent of the total votes cast. Non-Black people of color also voted at higher than average rates, further helping to drive historically high turnout numbers for voters of color in Louisiana state elections.

All of those numbers, and many more, are detailed in the Power Coalition’s new “Powerful Impact” report, which is now available on our website: http://powercoalition.org/Downloads/2019_GOTVReport.pdf.

“Unfortunately, there has been relatively little discussion about how and why voters of color turned out at such high rates for last year’s elections,” according to Ashley K. Shelton, executive director of the Power Coalition. “Few pundits and members of the media seem to have taken a close look at our monthslong, grassroots-led ground game that connected with hundreds of thousands of infrequent and semi-frequent voters of color across the state.”

Over the course of our campaign, which began in July and ran through to the runoff election on November 16, coalition partners made 1,273,217 contact attempts (doors knocked + phone calls made + text messages sent) in an effort to engage with 465,406 infrequent and semi-frequent voters of color. Of those 465,406 people, 278,399 (59.8%) of them voted on October 12 and/or November 16.

In order to pull off a voter turnout operation on that scale, the Power Coalition and our member organizations employed more than 300 door-to-door canvassers, and paid them all $15 an hour. We also worked with more than 400 volunteers who made thousands of phone calls and sent out tens of thousands of text messages, and stationed more than 60 election protection monitors at polling locations all over Louisiana. 

There’s much more to the story, and we encourage everyone to read the “Powerful Impact” report (http://powercoalition.org/Downloads/2019_GOTVReport.pdf) to learn more about how voters of color came together to make their voices heard and become even more of a force in Louisiana politics.

The Power Coalition for Equity and Justice works to build voice and power in traditionally ignored communities, with a focus on communities of color. We are a coalition of groups from across Louisiana whose mission is to organize in impacted communities, educate and turn out voters, and fight for policies that create a more equitable and just system in Louisiana.

What: Release of the “Powerful Impact” report from the Power Coalition for Equity and Justice detailing how our team and our partner organizations helped drive turnout among voters of color in the 2019 Louisiana elections.

Who: Power Coalition for Equity and Justice (PCEJ), Voice of the Experienced (VOTE), Step Up Louisiana, VAYLA, Crossroads Campaigns, New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice, Jericho Road, Black Voters Matter, Together Louisiana, Louisiana Budget Project, Movement Voter Project, Women With a Vision, Louisiana Policy Institute for Children

Contacts:

Ashley Shelton, Executive Director, Power Coalition for Equity and Justice, (225) 802-2435, ashelton@powercoalition.org

Peter Robins-Brown, Communications Director, Power Coalition for Equity and Justice, (504) 256-8196, prb@powercoalition.org