Charlotte’s Divine Nine hosts ‘Stroll to the Polls’ to encourage voter turnout

by Destiniee Jaram | October 27, 2023

A group representing local Black sororities and fraternities will host a “Stroll to the Polls” on Saturday, Oct. 28, to encourage more people to vote on Nov. 7. 

Why it matters: Voter turnout for the Sept. 12 primaries was less than 5%. That was only 23,764 ballots cast out of a voter pool of 482,577, according to the North Carolina State Board of Elections

“We are calling on our members, and we are calling on the community to join this unity walk because every step we take to cast our votes drives home the fact that every vote counts,” Leland Howard, president of the Charlotte area chapter of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, said in a statement. 

Next month’s vote will decide races for Charlotte mayor, City Council, school board, and a school bond referendum.

The half-mile walk will start at the Stratford Richardson YMCA (1946 West Blvd.) and end at the West Boulevard Library (2157 West Blvd.).

The organizing group includes Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority and Lota Phi Theta Fraternity. Together, they make up the “Divine Nine,” which make up the National Pan-Hellenic Council.

Fraternity and sorority members are encouraged to wear their Greek gear. 

Early voting began Oct. 19 at the Hal Marshall Annex in uptown Charlotte. Eighteen additional early voting sites opened on Oct. 26.