Super Tuesday 2024: Does your vote matter?

Super Tuesday, when 15 states and American Samoa will hold primaries or caucuses for the 2024 presidential election, is coming up on March 5. Though President Joe Biden and Former President Donald Trump are almost certain to win their parties’ nominations, there’s more at stake in this primary than voters may know. On this week’s episode of Basic Black, guests discussed a lack of excitement about the primary and what issues may drive voters to cast their ballots – or to stay home.

Massachusetts State Senator Liz Miranda, a Democrat who represents the state’s Second Suffolk district, is concerned about the impact of low voter turnout on local elections. “If folks are not going to vote in a presidential primary, where many voters choose not to vote because it takes so much stewardship to get folks, particularly low-income folks, young voters, and Black voters to come out, it’s gonna have an impact on folks who are running in the local elections and need the excitement,” said Miranda.

Diana Hwang, Founder and Executive Director of the Asian American Women’s Political Initiative, has also noticed the lack of enthusiasm about the primary. “What I’m seeing on the ground, particularly with organizations that work with communities of color, is they have to both put out fires and ask people to turn out for candidates that are not inspiring,” said Hwang.

Host Tanisha Sullivan, President of the NAACP Boston Branch and the NAACP New England Area Conference, noted that two women of color are running for president and vice president: Nikki Haley and Kamala Harris, respectively. (Haley, a Republican and the former governor of South Carolina, is the daughter of Indian immigrants.)

“For whatever reasons, Harris is not resonating for a lot of Black voters,” said Phillip Martin, Senior Investigative Reporter for the GBH News Center for Investigative Reporting. “You have a major backlash against DEI, you have a major backlash against affirmative action, against women’s reproductive rights. These things will likely bring a number of young people to the ballots, but not necessarily all of them. The one single issue that could suppress votes, or votes, is the Gaza/Israel issue,” said Martin.

As for Nikki Haley, “if all you want is representation, you’re settling,” said Renee Graham, Associate Editor and Columnist at the Boston Globe, referring to Haley’s statement that “I don’t think America’s racist.” That’s despite the fact that “in her own memoir, she talks about the racist incidents that her family endured living in rural South Carolina,” said Graham.

For information on how to register to vote or request a mail-in ballot, visit Massachusetts voters can refer to this voting guide.