Throughout her 40 years living in South Florida, Levine Cava has developed key relationships with Haitian-American leaders like François. Her deep ties to the community — some cultivated since the early 1980s, others created during her last six years representing District 8 on the county commission — helped Levine Cava defeat her opponent by eight points on Nov. 3.
This is a roundup of Haitian-American candidates on the ballot during the 2020 elections. These candidates have either won outright or advanced to runoffs in their respective races.
Since in-person early voting in New Jersey is not available, many Haitian-Americans pushed for voting by mail instead, where the voters mail their completed ballots back to officials. Haitian radio stations, social media forums and church leaders heavily encouraged Haitian-Americans to vote by mail. Local community members created videos in English and Creole to explain how vote-by-mail works.
Haitian-Americans heads to the polls for early voting across the U.S., including in New York, the state with the second largest Haitian population.
Statistics from election boards in nine states with large Haitian populations, as well as official numbers by the U.S. Census Bureau, do not reflect the visible political participation of Haitian-American communities across the country. The majority of local and statewide election boards only record voter statistics by race, not by ancestry or ethnicity.
Thousands of Haitian-Americans queued up in early-voting lines across the United States this past weekend, joining millions of other voters primed to participate in the 2020 elections.
Older Haitian-Americans struggle with several unique barriers when it comes to casting their ballots. Language translation is consistently viewed as the biggest obstacle hindering these senior citizens from fully participating. Other issues include information inundation, the layout of the ballot and, this year in particular, adjustments made to the voting process due to COVID-19.
Haitian-Americans’ position is clear: they will vote Democrat because Biden is better off dealing with political corruption and bad governance in Haiti, the country Trump called shithole. They will vote against the Republican establishment because Trump will cancel TPS while Biden promises he will renew or extend it for the thousands of Haitians who are no longer at risk of deportation because of it. If only Haitian-Americans are allowed to vote, Trump will lose by a tidal wave.
With the final weeks of the campaign in full swing, the current approach observed is largely based on a report by Herlande Rosemond, voter protection deputy director for the Florida Democratic Party.
The Democratic vice presidential nominee is the daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants and playing up her Jamaican heritage is a huge part of the Biden-Harris campaign’s outreach to Afro-Caribbean voters in the Sunshine State.