Souls to the Polls has been an event for black communities in the Southern States for years. They usually took place on the Sunday before polling day. The implementation and extension of early voting periods in states across the country in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have helped the movement grow nationwide.
Sunday’s event in Atlantic City was hosted by the Fellowship of Churches of Atlantic City and Vicinity, the NAACP of Atlantic City, local fraternities and sororities and other local civic groups.
âIt’s important for us to understand the power that we have within Atlantic City, and the power that we have as voters, in order to put the right people in place to represent our city,â Days- said. Chapman, whose father, Reverend Collins A. Days Sr., is the pastor of Second Baptist. “We’re going to show them that early voting in the state of New Jersey was worth it because we’re going to take advantage of it.” “
Atlantic City resident Eunice Clarke said she believed the event was part of an important effort to familiarize people with early voting – and ultimately more committed to democracy.
âIt’s important and vital, because no one can do it for us – we have to do it ourselves,â Clarke said. “The only way things are going to change is if we change them ourselves.”
Charmaine Hall said she had previously voted by mail, but came out to show her support for the community. She said early voting would make it easier for New Jersey citizens to vote, and participation in the early voting process would increase as more people in New Jersey became familiar with it.