This blog entry was written by Allie Brown, former Clean Energy Advocacy Manager at SACE.Guest Blog | September 28, 2018
In order to make clean energy and environmental justice issues a top priority in the South, we have to start by boosting voter turnout among those ready to build a clean, just energy future in local and statewide elections across the region. And where better to start organizing than the state in our region that has fallen the furthest behind in voter engagement – Tennessee. Currently, Tennessee is ranked 50th in voter turnout and 40th in voter registration. That means hundreds of thousands of Tennessean voices are effectively being silenced because they aren’t taking advantage of the power of the ballot box and we want to change that.
Midterms are just around the corner, and there are only 12 days left in Tennessee to register voters before the 2018 midterm election. That’s why SACE organizers across Tennessee are hard at work, registering new voters at high schools, community centers, college campuses, and local farmers markets to make sure more Tennesseans exercise their right to vote this November.
We’re teaming up with organizations across the state in the Proud Voter Challenge – a voter registration campaign that brings together a non-partisan coalition of organizations in Tennessee that support citizens through effective voter registration and turnout efforts. Our goal as a coalition is to register 75,000 voters by October 9th, which is the official deadline to register new voters before the November 6 election.
Registering more voters and encouraging better voter turnout among clean energy voters in Tennessee is key. The hope is that these citizens will be more engaged in related policy debates that emerge in the months and years to come. Through Renew Tennessee, a grassroots campaign we’ve launched to renew Tennessee’s commitment to affordable, clean energy, we are building volunteer teams that will educate and empower other Tennesseans on these issues. In building these teams, we are collecting voter registrations and securing petitions from voters who want to Renew Tennessee. The petition asks our leaders to lower high utility bills, expand solar power installations, and create more transparency around key decisions that are currently being made by TVA behind closed doors.
Inspired by this work and want to be a part of it? Our organizers are looking for volunteers across the state to ramp up the work and register more voters! Shoot us a quick email here, and we will be in touch to get you everything you need to hit the ground running registering voters in your community and helping us get out the vote.
With the October 9th deadline to register to vote just around the corner, we encourage you to check your voter registration records here and send along to your family and friends. And, if clean energy matters to you, read through our #2018CandidatesOnEnergy blogs, which profile where candidates stand on energy issues in key races throughout the Southeast, including some of Tennessee’s most key races here.