Former President Barack Obama is urging people to cast their ballots early, warning that the Trump administration is “working to keep people from voting” in a new ad for for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. The video was released ahead of Tuesday’s presidential debate between Biden and President Trump.
In the clip shared by “The Shade Room,” a popular Black celebrity news social media account and website, Mr. Obama asked people to vote early. He accused Mr. Trump – without naming him – his administration, and others of trying to suppress the vote, but particularly for people of color.
“Right now, from the White House on down, folks are working to keep people from voting, especially communities of color,” he said.
Mr. Obama said that “our democracy itself” is at stake in the 2020 election.
Kamala Harris, Biden’s running mate, was also featured in a new campaign ad with a similar message. She told voters to cast their votes early – whether in person or voting by mail. Her video was released on The Young, Black and Fabulous, another Black celebrity news site.
The ads come a day after the U.K.’s Channel 4 reported that 3.5 million Black Americans throughout 16 key battleground states were profiled and categorized as a “deterrence,” meaning voters the Trump campaign wants to stay home in 2016.
For the last several months, Mr. Trump has repeatedly criticized mail-in voting – insisting it leads to voter fraud without offering any evidence and despite requesting a mail-in ballot himself. He ramped up his attacks during the coronavirus pandemic, as more people are expected to vote by mail to avoid possible exposure at the polls. Mr. Trump has also targeted ballot drop boxes, suggesting the ballots could be tampered with once voters deposit them.