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Black Girls Vote Pushes Voter Registration As States Pass More Restrictive Voting Laws

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- In a democracy, your vote is your voice, your way to bring about change. The nonpartisan, nonprofit organization "Black Girls Vote" is working to empower black women to use the political process to improve the quality of life for the family and community.

"Black women are such a pillar of democracy, we are active participants in the electoral process," said Natasha Murphy, Chief of Staff with Black Girls Vote, "but we weren't getting the policy in exchange for our voting power."

With upwards of 250 members, they're working to educate and register voters. Their goal this year is to register 2,500 voters. They focus on spreading their message through Black women, who they recognize as being pillars of their communities.

Tenne Thrower is the Special Projects Manager with Black Girls Vote. She said they "understand the power of Black women, the power of our voice, the power of our thoughts, opinions and being able to understand how to be able to advocate for others."

The growing organization has several chapters on college campuses. Yolanda Waters is the President of the Morgan State Chapter. She said she commonly uses the student debt crisis to explain the importance of voting to fellow students.

"That's something that really gets them involved," Waters said, " like ok maybe I will start voting, maybe I will register to vote."

As states continue to pass more restrictive voting laws, the work they are doing is becoming more important than ever.

"Well while it's incredibly discouraging and frustrating it is motivating to make sure that organizations like Black Girls Vote are out in the community, doing everything that we can do to ensure that civic engagement and civic rights are protected," said Murphy.

Black Girls Vote is headquartered in Baltimore, but they are expanding to different college campuses and cities. They're always looking for new members and say men can step up and support them as well.

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