GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — In the final hours before Election Day, Stephanie Moore has one goal: to educate as many people as possible about where to vote, when to vote and what to do to protect their vote.
She said so far people are excited to vote.
“The landscape right now in the final 24 hours really is the energy is there for people who are excited, who are passionate about going to vote,” Moore said during a Zoom interview on Monday afternoon. “They understand that this is a historical election year and they understand they have a major role to play in this election.”
Moore is the coordinator for the Michigan chapter of the Black Voters Matter nonprofit organization. Even though their target audience is the Black and Brown communities, she said the message about the importance of voting is for everyone.
“We’re not exclusive. We want to spread love and joy and power all over the community,” Moore said. “We want everybody to know their rights when it comes to voting, understand the process and understand what they need to do to cast their vote and have their vote be counted.”
Moore said part of the organization’s goal is to make sure that every vote is counted. She believes that the election is about more than just picking a president.
“Vote if you’re worried about speed bumps. Vote if you are worried about getting assistance with your child's IEP at school. Vote if you are having trouble paying your mortgage or your rent or if you're facing eviction,” Moore said. “If you have family members that are having trouble in the criminal justice system, vote. Your vote impacts everything that you deal with in your daily life. This is how you make a change, a difference, as you vote.”
Moore said that people with felony or arrest records are allowed to vote in the state of Michigan, and the most important thing is that all voters verify their registration online. Black Voters Matter is asking people to log on to Michigan.gov/vote so they can view their ballot and see where they need to vote, especially if they plan on voting on Election Day.
Moore recommended having a plan for that day.
“That plan should look like: do you know where you’re voting at, do you know the hours, the location,” Moore said. “Do you know around what time of day you’re planning on going because if going through on your lunch hour there’s going to be more traffic.”
Moore added that there’s been some anxiety among voters, not knowing what to expect should they vote in-person. She said people are being influenced by the news of voter intimidation but they’re also pushing past it, and voting in record numbers.
“We’ve had, in the last several weeks, grandmothers going to get their children and their children’s children and they’re like ‘come on let’s go get it, let’s go vote,’” Moore said. “So, we’re seeing that apathy turn into empowerment. We're seeing the empowerment turning into passion.”