Local activist switches focus to get out the vote

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D’Andrala Alexander was delighted to meet so many voters already registered and ready to vote in the mid-terms next month. (Courtesy photo)

By Ruth Ferguson, NDG Editor

D’Andrala Alexander followed through on her plan to mix politics with football at the State Fair of Texas. Prior to the State Fair Classic game featuring Grambling vs. Prairie View, Alexandar along with her mother, reached out to fairgoers to invite them to register to vote. When reached by phone by the North Dallas Gazette, shared she had good news and bad news.

Actually, the bad news was the fact the duo was unable to register many voters because nearly everyone they spoke to was not only already registered to vote but anxious to make sure their voice is heard at the ballot box on Nov. 6.

“We got a chance to hang out in front of the game and talked to hundreds of people, but we only registered a handful,” Alexander shared. “Most told us they were good to go and they were fired up about voting.”

As NDG shared in our story on Sept. 22, Alexander has attended several venues and special events this year attempting to register voters, with a focus on young people. An audience not always excited about politics or voting. She was pleasantly surprised to receive a different reaction from even the young voters on Saturday.

“Everyone has voting on their minds,” Alexander shared. She credits the efforts of organized voter registration groups locally and around the country, including greek fraternities and sororities. “Everyone is ready to vote,” she added.

Recent news locally and nationally is spurring the passion for voting in the mid-terms. The recent hearings, for now, Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and the State of Texas’ rejection of voter registration applications are just two of the factors.

Like many opposed to Kavanaugh’s lifetime promotion to the highest court in America, Alexander was disappointed.

“A  lot of people are feeling powerless and upset. Watching Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony, it was heartwrenching,” Alexander, a counselor who works with juveniles, shared. With the outcome, she recognized the sadness was to be expected.

However, while those on the right are celebrating their victory, Alexander sees a silver lining.

“At the same time, I have seen a little bit more of righteous anger that will be the fuel at this point,” she stated as voters continue to see “how much elections have consequences.”

But the path to the ballot box in Texas with voter ID laws and other rules is not an easy one.

“Texas has some of the most restrictive voting laws in the country. However, voters are not allowing themselves to be restricted,” Alexander stated. Recent reports indicate voter registration is up not only in Texas but nationally with more than 800,000 voters registered on Sept. 25 which was National Voter Registration Day, more than doubling their goal of 300,000.

When she saw friends post about the rejection of the online applications by Texas, Alexander reached out to let them know that as a Volunteer Deputy Registrar she was willing to meet them and get them registered on the spot. Texas requires an original signature, and therefore reportedly rejected nearly 2,000 applications.

Voter registration ended on Oct. 9, so now Alexander’s focus is shifting to getting voters to the polls. She is participating in various get out the vote activities and planning to participate in the Rideshare2Vote efforts. Like Uber and Lfyt, this is an organized effort to offer free rides to the polls starting on Oct. 22 when early voting begins.

Bottom line, when Alexander wakes up on Nov. 7, no matter what the results, she wants to know she gave it her all to make a difference.

“I don’t want to feel worse than what I did last week,” Alexander stated.