A Chicago Sun Times survey revealed that more than 600,000 new Black voters were expected to register in nine southern states in time for the 1984 presidential election.
1983 (Aug 20)
A Chicago Sun Times survey revealed that more than 600,000 new Black voters were expected to register in nine southern states—Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia—in time for the 1984 presidential election. The survey's projections were derived from interviews with election officials in six states, who based their estimates on "current and anticipated registration trends." In the other three states—Alabama, Arkansas, and Tennessee—the figures were provided by independent Black organizations. By August 1983, 190,000 new Black voters had already been added to voter rolls in the southern states. The new Black voters were expected to have a “potent” and “perhaps decisive" impact not only in the upcoming presidential contest, but also in many local elections. One potential presidential candidate, Jesse Jackson, a Black minister and civil rights leader, had set a goal of two million new Black voters in the South by 1984. The attainment of this goal was viewed as "a key to his decision" whether or not to pursue the Democratic presidential nomination.