Rev. Jesse Jackson drops in at Paine to push voter registration

CSRA News

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Students at Paine College got a closer look at voting in the upcoming election with the help of a national civil rights activist.

The lions got a little extra help on their pathway to the polls from Reverend Jesse Jackson and Rainbow PUSH.

Rev. Jackson made a stop at the historically black college Wednesday.

Prior to his arrival, a lot of students told NewsChannel 6 they were not registered to vote and they are still learning about the voting process. But some of those students are ready to head to the polls and they know the issues they want from candidates.

“Our voice needs to be heard and that’s one big thing that everybody needs to understand,” said Sabrina Arnold, Paine College junior.

“I think it’s important to vote because votes matter,” Dante Dickerson, a sophomore at Paine College said.

With Election Day right around the coroner, students at Paine College took a hard look at voters registration.

Rev. Jackson engaged the crowd by having them repeat the words, ‘I am somebody.’

He added, “Our country is being torn asunder by inviting Russia and China and Iran and others into the election process. The gap isn’t between black and white so much as it’s between the have and the have nots.”

Students we spoke with say they already know the issues they will be looking for from candidates.

Arnold said, “As long as they definitely value education. That’s the number one thing. As long as they support HBCUs because I’m a member of an HBCU.”

Micah Macon, a freshman at Paine College who registered to vote at 18 said she wants , “A better opportunity for black folks.” She added, “A better opportunity for just anybody. Equality is everything nowadays. We already have black on black crime and white on white on white crime and police brutality and all that. Even though that stuff happens in society. Try to keep us all together as one and not separate us and put us in different categories. That’s not going to do anything but tear us down and make us wonder why did we vote?”

Dickerson said, “Kids my age are getting killed everyday, 18-25. I feel like our votes matter. If we can vote somebody in that can stop that we can live longer.”

Paine officials report about 40 to 50 people registered to vote.

Photojournalist: Mark Gaskins & Will Baker

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