DANVILLE — Another Black Lives Matter event is planned for Saturday in Danville, this time a rally to encourage people to vote in the November election.

“BLM in Danville: From the March to the Movement” will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday. Another march had been planned to end at 201 N. Vermilion St., the Vermilion County Administration Building where the Danville Election Commission and Vermilion County Clerk offices are.

However, the march was changed to a rally due to security concerns. The rally will take place at the county administration building at 201 N. Vermilion St.

The event is hosted by local residents Mary Catherine Roberson and Jeremy Bell.

Roberson said May’s march was in response to George Floyd’s death and in general, national issues. The march to the Public Safety Building attracted hundreds of people.

She said there was some concern that people are showing up for demonstrations, but then there’s no follow through.

Saturday’s rally is against systemic racism and police brutality, and Roberson said they are also asking people to go beyond the demonstration, carrying it into the action of voting.

Roberson said about people who run these systems of power where systemic racism is allowed to exist, “many of those persons can be checked by a vote.” Numbers in voting can incite change.

In addition to the march and this rally, organizers also were involved with the Juneteenth event at Lincoln Park.

Roberson said these events are to “get an important message out in the community.”

“We know the energy is there,” she said about wanting to make the events impactful.

There will be speakers at the rally at the Vermilion County Administration Building, including an active high school student, and with NAACP President Ed Butler and others pushing voter registration and the importance of voting.

According to Lindsay Light, chief deputy county clerk/supervisor of elections with Vermilion County, earlier this week they had received approximately 2,300 vote-by-mail applications.

This is already more than double the amount the office has seen in the past, when they would see about 900 to 1,000 vote-by-mail applications during the entire six weeks of early voting.

The office continues to encourage voters to vote early, in person, or by mail. Early voting will start Sept. 24.

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