By Sean Yoes
AFRO Senior Reporter
syoes@afro.com

Although some question the timing of the vote, on Nov. 24, the Rev. Kobi Little, the current president of the Baltimore branch of the NAACP was re-elected in a landslide. 

“I’m grateful to the members of the Baltimore NAACP for re-electing me to the Branch presidency. I extend thanks to all who offered themselves as candidates and offer my congratulations to the outstanding team of leaders who were elected alongside me,” said Little in an email. “I look forward to continuing to serve with them in the pursuit of justice, equity and equality,” he added. The Baltimore branch reported on their Facebook page that of the 11 offices on the ballot, only two were contested, president and assistant secretary. Little received 114 votes (84%), to 22 votes (16%) for Will Hanna. In the election for assistant secretary, Dr. Francesca Weaks received 111 votes (82%), to 25 votes (18%) for Kaleena Weathers. According to Little, 136 votes were cast, compared to 69 votes cast in the Branch’s presidential election in 2018, an increase of nearly100% despite the coronavirus pandemic. 

However, former branch president Marvin “Doc” Cheatham seems to cast some doubt on the election process.

“I believe in the best interest of all especially life members of the NAACP that the election of Baltimore City Branch officers, in November 2020, should be rescheduled due to questionable and timely Notice to Eligible Voters,” Cheatham wrote, Nov. 24, in an email, obtained by the AFRO, to Willie Flowers, president of the NAACP Maryland State Conference. Obviously, the election was not delayed and the results were unambiguous. Cheatham apparently is pushing for a new election, or at least wants to lodge a formal complaint regarding the election process.

“There seemingly is a major contradiction of who is in charge of oversight of the election and who or what is responsible for this major inadequate conduct of this election,” said Cheatham in his  email to Flowers. “This is a poor reflection on the NAACP on all levels. NO SOLUTION TO AN INADEQUATE ELECTION PROCESS AND PROCEDURE IS NOT ACCEPTABLE,” added Cheatham

According to Flowers, the decision making process for branch elections and the elections themselves have been transparent.

“As you know, branch elections are managed by the branches with State Conference monitoring, if there is a need. As a branch president I understand that and try to operate with that sensitivity in regard to all branches,” Flowers said via email to Cheatham.

“Finally, the Association gave branches the option to delay elections until January in order to use “Election Buddy” with COVID in mind. This also gave time for branches to be trained on the “Election Buddy” system. Some branches elected to wait until January,” added Flowers. Ultimately, the Baltimore Branch opted to have its election as scheduled.

“We are making progress on many fronts and there is still much work to be done,” said Little. “I invite all to partner in the work of the Branch and to recruit new members.”

 

Sean Yoes

AFRO Baltimore Editor