Voice Your Choice: Tiffany Walker Urges National Coalition of 100 Black Women SNJ, Others to Push Voting


BY ERIKA HEINRICH | South Jersey Information Equity Project

WENONAH — There is no doubt that the 2024 upcoming presidential election has caused rising political tension across the United States.

According to National Public Radio, 2020 had the most people vote in over a century, with 67% of eligible voters in the United States casting ballots in the presidential election. However, this still leaves a third of the population, over 100 million people, that did not.

In New Jersey alone, across our counties, the official primary election turnout of 2023 was between 6%-13% of active eligible voters, leaving an even bigger margin in our local communities.

These numbers can completely sway the outcome of an election. But many reasons can get in an eligible voter’s way. Things like lack of education for new voters, some voters being impaired or elderly and needing additional assistance, or voters living in a community where the polls are inaccessible.

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This has been a concern for many organizations across the United States about how to bring eligible new voters to the polls and show new, young voters how to exercise their right to vote.

On April 17, one of these organizations — the National Coalition of 100 Black Women — hosted a free virtual “Voter’s Education Workshop” with Tiffany Walker, the Outreach Coordinator at the Gloucester County Clerk’s Office.

“Information is often abundant but overwhelming,” the President of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women South Jersey Chapter, Dr. Marguerite Hall said about new voters. Part of the workshop described ways to canvas in one’s community and gain new voters.

Tiffany Walker Winters, Monroe Public Schools board member and organizer of the Gloucester County NAACP Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday, June 19. She talked with NCBW leaders about voting last month.

“It should be your goal to get five new voters a year,” Walker said. Walker is a South Jersey local, with a bachelor’s degree in leadership and social innovation from Rowan University. She is an active community member, owner of a tattoo parlor in Sicklerville and former vice president of her local school board.

Walker serves as the election outreach coordinator for Gloucester County. She uses her position in a government office to advocate on civil rights issues around family, substance abuse and voting participation.

Walker says a great way to help our local community is helping people see the value in their vote and ways to canvas your area with new voter applications and vote-by-mail forms.

Know Your Voting Rights

“As a community advocate — a nonpartisan, inclusive person who can understand people from different communities — we want to empower and train people about voting rights,” Walker said about her experience as a canvassing regular.

She urges people with the capacity to canvas and to reach underdeveloped communities in South Jersey, where voting numbers are low and many potential voters may lack guidance on the way to the voting application.

Walker also spoke about the service vote-by-mail and how it can be the solution to many eligible, inactive voters, such as students relocating to different areas, elderly people having trouble getting to the polls, and communities that are in need of voting education.

All people who vote by mail can easily locate their vote on NJ.gov under “Track My Ballot” to ensure that it is accounted for. New Jersey made it a goal to invest in Vote-By-Mail awareness, providing grants of up to $450,000 solely for Vote-By-Mail awareness efforts.

Walker wants to focus on students and the elderly in this upcoming election. Walker even mentioned how people who have spent time in jail are eligible, but their rights are often overlooked. Once out of incarceration, people receive automatic restoration of their voting eligibility.

However, as many people are in halfway housing and trying to rebuild their lives; parole officers or government workers don’t provide thorough voting education.

New Jersey has signed a new bill, the “New Voter Empowerment Act,” that allows 17-year-olds to vote in the primary election, and if they are 18 by the general election in November, beginning in 2026.

The National Coalition of 100 Black Women South Jersey is taking this into consideration with its new voter application efforts.

The NCBW100 wishes to get in contact with local high schools in Woodbury and Paulsboro, close to their headquarters in Wenonah, to show young voters the value of being an active voter.

This push for Vote-By-Mail, the new bill for enabling younger voters, and a focus on outreach for our local communities can help all New Jersey residents vote for a representative that truly represents their home state. It is vitally important to empower and educate these underdeveloped communities about their voting rights, and how to have inclusive accessibility to voting.

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