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Tallahassee gets ready for Souls to the Polls on Sunday

A young Black man smiles happily as he holds an "I voted" badge at a polling place with American flags
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A young Black man smiles happily as he holds an "I voted" badge at a polling place with American flags

This Sunday is Souls to the Polls, the traditional voting initiative by the Black church community. It’s a way to encourage congregants to vote after attending worship service. Congressman Al Lawson hopes it will also give his campaign a boost in its final days.

Souls to the Polls goes back to the civil rights movement. It’s been a way to coordinate rides, especially in rural areas, and to stiffen the spines of people who are fearful.

Longtime Tallahassee organizer Steve Beasley says it has other advantages.

“Because on Election Day it may rain cats and dogs, and we will have that out of the way,” he said. “This will eliminate the long lines that you have to wait on. A lot of persons drive up to vote and see a long line and turn around and go home. This helps that out.”  

Congressman Al Lawson wants all the votes he can get. He knows he’s got an uphill climb to re-election.

“I’m going to fight to the last minute,” he said. “I know I’m in a district now that leans Republican, but I’ve served in those areas before. And it should be at this point, is who you would have the most confidence in to deliver for you.”  

He’s getting ready for a big weekend.

“And it’s critical, these next five days, that we go out in this community and stimulate everybody and tell them they need to exercise their constitutional right to vote,” said Lawson. “Because without that, a lot of things they get, a lot of things they want, it might not happen. It depends on who’s serving in office.”  

Voters will meet at Dr. B.L. Perry Library at 11 a.m. Sunday to cast their ballots.

Follow @MargieMenzel

Margie Menzel covers local and state government for WFSU News. She has also worked at the News Service of Florida and Gannett News Service. She earned her B.A. in history at Vanderbilt University and her M.S. in journalism at Florida A&M University.