Be prepared to vote on every election day
The 2016 elections are fading in the rearview mirror, but that doesn’t mean the voting is over. While the next presidential election won’t be until 2020, there are countless state and local elections between now and then which have a major impact on life in our local communities. That’s why Union Power Cooperative remains engaged in a national get-out-and-vote campaign called Co-ops Vote and we invite you to join us.
Co-ops Vote is a non-partisan project of America’s Electric Cooperatives designed to encourage co-op members to vote and support their co-ops and their community when they go to the polls. The program does not endorse or recommend candidates for election. Co-ops Vote was launched in 2016 to reverse a troubling trend: In the 2012 elections, voter turnout in rural areas declined by 18 percent—twice the voter drop-off seen nationally.
More than 700 electric co-ops in 47 states responded by joining the Co-ops Vote program to increase voter engagement in the communities they serve, and it was a tremendous success. Rural voter turnout in 2016 increased by more than a half-million Americans. Together, we grew our political influence and encouraged lawmakers to pay more attention to the issues affecting rural Americans.
We need to harness this momentum and ensure that Co-ops Vote continues to thrive.
There are more than 1,000 local and state elections being held this year. Unfortunately, these critical elections are often ignored by the majority of voters. Many people see these “smaller” elections as less important than national elections. In reality, state and local elections have an even greater impact on local communities because the candidates are running on local issues—issues that are closer to voters’ everyday lives than many national issues.
Whether you have a local or state election this year or a federal election in 2018, Co-ops Vote has a number of activities to help rural Americans stay engaged in the political process. Visit www.vote.coop to join and learn more. And by all means, make sure you are registered to vote and that you cast your ballot on Election Day—every Election Day.