Have you registered to vote? If not, you are not alone. Tennessee’s voter turnout is abysmal, coming in at just 28.5% in November 2014. In case it was not clear, that puts Tennessee in dead last when ranking voter turnout by state for 2014. 2016 saw an increase in votes cast (likely due to the contentious general election), but that still left Tennessee in 49th place. Our registration record is not much better, with the volunteer state coming in 40th. Moving forward, it is important that we, as East Tennesseeans, are represented at a local, state, and federal level in unprecedented numbers. Especially in Knoxville, where some public figures use their power to discriminate.
IT TAKES LESS THAN TEN MINUTES TO MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD
You might wonder where to start. Being active in politics can seem daunting, especially in the era of the 24-hour news cycle. The first step is registering to vote. The good news is that, if you are not registered, the process is easier than ever in Tennessee. There are now online forms available to those who do not have the time or transportation to register elsewhere, and it takes less than ten minutes. You can find online voter registration here. The deadline to register before the March 2020 primary is February 3rd, 2020, so put it at the top of your to-do list!
There are plenty of opportunities to exercise your right to vote in 2020, both locally and nationally. For Knoxvillians, the 2020 Republican/County Primary is March 3rd. You can find the list of final candidates here, as well as more information about upcoming elections here. Be sure to research candidate websites and social media pages. Talk to the people around you about which candidate will best represent the ideas and initiatives needed to make your community, your state, and your country a better place to live.