This blog entry was written by Allie Brown, former Clean Energy Advocacy Manager at SACE. Over the past few months, SACE organizers have been working tirelessly to register new voters in Tennessee. It's too common that voters don't make it out to the polls during the midterms, so we have to change the culture around voting.Guest Blog | October 30, 2018
Over the past few months, SACE organizers have been working tirelessly to register new voters in Tennessee. While the voter registration deadline has ended, we can’t rest just yet, because our team is going all in to ensure that these registered voters – new and old – actually head to the ballot box for the midterm election on November 6 (or right now…early voting is underway until November 1).
It’s way too common that voters who typically show up in bigger presidential elections, don’t make it out to the polls during the midterms. So, how do we ensure communities across the state are showing up to vote? First, we have to change the culture around voting. When you think of election day you probably envision something like this: standing in line (maybe a long one), casting your vote, putting on a sticker, and moving on with the rest of your day. We need to find a way to make Election Day more than just about the act of voting, but rather, a day of fun where we come together as a community to celebrate our freedom and right to vote.
SACE is lucky enough to get the chance to do just this at 7 different polling locations in Tennessee. Our organizers are hosting 7 non-partisan, family-friendly celebrations of voting at or near polling places in Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, and Chattanooga!
The events are focused on fun for everyone. We’ll have free food and snacks, music, and games. It’s a part of Civic Nation’s #VoteTogether campaign, which works with local organizations to make voting community-driven and celebratory. Over the past few years, Civic Nation has worked with Columbia University political science professor, Donald P. Green, to analyze the impact of hosting community celebrations adjacent to polling sites. The results? It’s been effective in increasing voter turnout by 4 percent points, so now they are looking to ramp this effort up – aiming for a total of 500-800 parties across the nation.
If you live in Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, or Chattanooga, these are parties you don’t want to miss. We’ve got food trucks, DJs, face painters, photo booths, hot chocolate, live bands, BBQ, and cornhole…just to name a few highlights. Come enjoy the celebration, vote, and better yet, consider volunteering! We need all hands on deck to spread the word about the local celebrations and assistance during the party to make them all a success. Sign up to attend and volunteer for one of the parties on Election Day (Nov 6) here:
- Bert Ferguson Community Center: 8505 Trinity Rd Cordova, TN 38018. RSVP Here.
- Davis Community Center: 3371 Spottswood Avenue: Memphis, TN 38111. RSVP Here.
- Calvary Church of the Nazarene: 1851 N Houston Levee Rd: Cordova, TN 38016. RSVP Here.
- Fletcher Creek Park: 8743 Dexter Rd: Memphis, TN 38016. RSVP Here.
- Hadley Park: 1037 28th Avenue N: Nashville, TN 37208. RSVP Here.
- Edgewood Park Edgewood Ave Knoxville, TN 37917. RSVP Here.
- Pioneer Frontier Park. 1509 Tombras Ave. East Ridge, TN 37412 RSVP Here.
Lastly, if clean energy matters to you when you show up to the polls to vote, make sure you read through our #2018CandidatesOnEnergy blogs, which profile where candidates stand on energy issues in key races throughout the Southeast, including two of Tennessee’s hotly contested races.