Get Ready to Vote!

Election Day in Tennessee’s First District is Tuesday May 1. Yes, that is tomorrow. It is time to support Democracy in America by exercising the right to vote. If you voted early, well done. If not, then Tennessee residents need to get to the polls tomorrow and vote in your local county primary election. Your vote will impact who is in charge of county offices for the next four years. If you have to miss this election because you haven’t registered yet- Get to work! See the registration instructions below.

Tennessee is number 50 among the states in voter turnout. Yes, dead last. I know of many people in 2016 who didn’t vote because they thought their vote didn’t matter. Well, a whole lot has happened since 2016 and now in 2018 it should be easy to recognize that your vote matters! If you are happy with the political climate in Washington, if you think that a lot of good things are happening, if you think that Congress is doing a great job taking care of everyday Americans and it ignores billionaire donors, then I guess you could justify taking a pass on the three major election days in 2018. If you think responsible change is needed, then you better plan on voting.

After tomorrow, the next big election will be August 2. That’s when both Republican and Democratic primaries will be held for statewide and national races. I’ll be unopposed, but the Republican candidate for U.S. Congress will be selected that day. Then the general election will be Nov 6. YOU HAVE TO REGISTER TO VOTE BEFORE THE ELECTION.

Tennessee now permits online voter registration at GoVoteTN. Registration must occur on or before July 3 for the August election, and on or before October 9 for the general election.

Some groups of voters have been particularly underrepresented in recent elections. Nationally, millennials, for example, vote at levels significantly lower than older voters. And the drop off for voting in mid term elections is higher for millennials than older voters. But locally, one of our institutions of higher learning, East Tennessee State University, won an award from the Southern Conference for highest voting rate in the conference. This is the type of progress we need if we are going to end one party rule in Tennessee District 1.