The NAACP and League of Women Voters team up to get residents sto vote in Newark’s Military Park on Sept. 27. (Photo by Rahbia Lighty)

By Rahbia Lighty
Special to the AFRO

Anxious and thrilled to be able to use their voices to make a change in the world, many first-time voters in the city of Newark, New Jersey are ready for the highly anticipated 2020 Presidential Election.

“It’s going to be hard,” Brianna Jones said. “At some point, people have to draw the line and say enough is enough.”

Jones, an 18-year-old student who recently graduated from Newark’s Science Park High School and now attends Clark Atlanta University, expressed her frustration with President Donald Trump as she describes her excitement to vote for the first time. 

“I know how much Trump has not done for the Black community. I can give Kamala and Joe the upper hand by giving them my vote. It helps my community and the working class community more than me not voting at all,” said Jones. 

According to The Essex County (NJ) Board of Elections, in the 2016 Presidential Election only 20.2 percent of votes went to Trump. Statewide, Trump received just 41 percent of the vote.

Majoring in political science, Jones plans on becoming a criminal defense attorney to help falsely accused individuals receive the justice they deserve. One of the many reasons she knows it is important to vote is because she knows that lawmakers are influenced by the executive branch.

Several Newark programs ranging from local high schools to well-known organizations like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) encourage people to register to vote. “My high school made me register,” Jones said. 

The NAACP, however, decided to take more intimate steps to get people involved by doing door to door registrations, street affair events, and partnering with other organizations like the United States Census Bureau. 

“Today I signed up two individuals who are approximately 40-50 years old, who never voted in their life, and they registered today. So I’m proud to have been able to impact two individuals to vote in this election 2020 November 3rd,” Judith Favors said.

Favors is the chair of religious affairs in the Newark chapter of the NAACP. She encourages all first-time voters to, “understand there are different individuals in different positions that vote and make decisions for us at every level throughout the country.”

Along with some first-time voters, Favors says she is worn out by the Trump administration. “We have a president that is in a position that is all about self and not about the people of the United States of America. So we together must vote to remove him out of office so that we can get to the next level and not continue to be the country that is shut down,” as she considers the current COVID-19 pandemic.  

“I am voting for Mr. Biden. Joe Biden all the way,” Favors said.