By Vishnu Bisram
Tuesday November 8 is Voting Day all over the USA for varied offices including for all 435 Members of Representatives of Congress, 33 Senators, Governors of New York state and several other of the 50 states that make up the union, and legislators of states and local governments as well as countless other positions.
Guyanese and other Caribbean American political activists throughout America are appealing to Guyanese and other West Indians to come out in their numbers and vote. They note that Tuesday’s election is critical for the direction of the country as well as several states. The Guyanese abd West Indian vote may make a difference.
A rally was held near the Sybil fast food catering Restaurant on 133rd Street and Liberty Ave in Richmond Hill, Queens on Saturday afternoon urging Guyanese and others to vote. Dozens turned up at the hastily arranged rally raising banners and slogans for their candidates.
Guyanese are divided in their planned vote for Tuesday with some supporting Republican candidates but the bulk of them are voting Democratic.
A Guyanese based rally in Brooklyn last Sunday, a packed house, endorsed Democratic candidates. Letitia James, seeking re-election to the important District Attorney position, and Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, addressed the large Guyanese and West Indian rally where they made allegations against the Guyana government without supporting evidence.
The rally in Queens last Saturday was in response to the Brooklyn held rally. There, Guyanese speakers criticized the two Brooklyn Democrats and urged compatriots to vote for opponents of James and Jeffries and others who “are aligned with Brooklyn based Guyanese racists and defenders of election rigging in Guyana”. Some Guyanese Americans shockingly supported and defended rigging of the 2020 elections.
Americans were allowed to cast ballots in early voting that commenced over a week ago. Early voting closes Sunday. Turnout so far has been very high in some districts around the country like in Georgia and Florida but very low among Guyanese and West Indians. Those who have not cast their ballots as yet are exhorted to come out and vote on Sunday or on Tuesday. Ballots will be counted Tuesday evening right after voting closes between six and 9 PM depending on the state. New York voting ends at 9 PM.
The Guyanese vote may well decide who wins the NY State Governor and Florida Governor races as well as close contests in several states. The Democratic candidates for Governor and Attorney General in NY are ahead in opinion polls which have been tightening over the last couple weeks making them competitive. New York has the largest number of Guyanese estimated at over half a million. The Republicans are encouraged by recent poll numbers that put candidates for some contests within striking distance. If the anti Democratic tide increases and turnout is very high, there would be upsets.
The Republicans are ahead in key races in Florida, the state with the second largest number of Guyanese and other Caribbean people. There is a close contest for US Senate and Governor in Georgia where a sizable number of Guyanese and West Indians are settled.
Polls early in the year showed the Republicans sweeping the elections. However after the abortion in the spring, voters shifted away from Republicans. The Democrats were leading up till two weeks ago. The elections have swung back Republican. Voters are more worried about pocket book issues than abortion and ideology. If the Republicans capture one ire more Houses, Ji Biden will be a lame duck President.
The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the position or policy of the THE WEST INDIAN.