Election Day 2021 is here. A whole year has passed since the 2020 General Election that spurred a surge in voter turnout, and Black voters are still critical to local and state elections.
There's several key races happening all over the country, with all eyes on governor's mansions and city halls in a few states. Here, we break down the races that our critical to our communities, cities and states.
Ballots are being handed in as people make their way to the polls once again and poll workers count each voter's voice. We'll be updating this story as results come in for each race.
New York City
Democratic favorite Eric Adams is expected to defeat Republican candidate Curtis Sliwa in the highly-anticipated mayoral race. Adams previously served as the Brooklyn Borough President and is a former police captain and former state senator.
Sliwa came under fire after alleging the systemic racism isn't an issue in the NYPD or FDNY.
Former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Atlanta City Council President Felicia A. Moore are running for mayor of Georgia's capital.
City Council members Antonio Brown and Andre Dickens are also running for mayor, as well as attorney Sharon Gray.
Other candidates on the ballot are: Roosevelt Searles III, Kirsten Dunn, Kenny Hill, Walter Reeves, Mark Hammad, Richard Wright, Nolan English, Rebecca King and Glenn Wrightson.
Here's a look at the other cities and Black candidates on the ballot
Columbia, South Carolina
Candidate: Tameka Devine
Buffalo, New York
Candidates: Byron Brown, India Walton
Jersey City, New Jersey
Candidates: Lewis Spears
Candidates: Justin Bibb
Candidates: David Mann
Candidates: Wanda Williams
St. Paul, Minnesota
Candidates: Melvin Carter, Miki Frost, Dora Jones-Robinson
Durham, North Carolina
Candidates: Elaine O'Neal
Mayor Wilmont Collins is up for re-election.
New Jersey and Virginia are each voting for their state's top leader. Both races are considered to be litmus tests for the midterm season next year.
In Virginia, Democrat Terry McAuliffe is battling it out with Republican Glenn Youngkin. The final weeks of the campaign have been fraught with arguments against critical race theory in schools and even a call for a ban on one of Toni Morrison's most acclaimed novels. Regardless of who wins, Virginia will see its first Black woman lieutenant governor.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is looking to become the state's first Democratic governor to win reelection. Like Virginia, the Garden state has a history of trending towards voting blue but also has a track record of voting the opposite party of the White House during the off-year governor's races.
There's two special elections to replace two former Congressional Black Caucus members –– the late Alcee Hastings who represented Florida's 23rd and 20th Congressional Districts and HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge.
Policies On The Ballot
Minneapolis, Albany, New York, and Cleveland, Ohio all have police reform policy measures on the ballot this election.
Austin could see more police depending on votes in Texas' capital on a ballot measure.
In Detroit, reparations are on the ballot as the city holds a vote to create a task force on the matter.
Philadelphia could see the legalization of weed as a city charter amendment is on the ticket this election.