The Indiana Statewide Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives (ISA) in conjunction with rural electric cooperatives throughout the state kicked-off a grassroots effort to empower and promote greater civic participation by educating employees and member-owners about the importance of voting. The Get Out the Vote campaign helps eligible residents to participate in the upcoming election through an online resource – www.IndianaVoters.com. Visitors to the site can register to vote, obtain an absentee ballot, find their polling place, as well as preview a sample ballot.
“As decisions are made at the state and federal levels of government impacting our member co-op’s ability to deliver affordable, reliable and safe electricity to the 850,000 Hoosiers we serve, finding ways to encourage member-owners to vote is paramount,” explains Scott Bowers, Director of Government Relations at ISA. “Since 1936, rural electric cooperative power lines have run through Washington, D.C., and statehouses in almost every state. ‘We were born in politics, and we’ll die in politics’ is an oft-repeated line at electric cooperative gatherings across the nation. Indiana’s electric cooperatives recognize this election will shape our future like never before and our Get Out the Vote effort is to urge member-owners to cast their ballot on November 6th.”
History has shown that one vote can make a difference:
· Less than 1 vote per precinct in Florida elected George W. Bush president in 2000;
· One vote per precinct elected John Kennedy president in 1960, and;
· One vote per California precinct re-elected President Woodrow Wilson in 1916.
This year, 33 U.S. Senate and 435 U.S. House of Representative seats will be decided on November 6. Hoosiers will be deciding who will fill one of Indiana’s U.S. Senate seats and all nine U.S. House of Representative seats. In addition, gubernatorial races in nine states served by electric cooperatives will be decided, including Indiana.
“The right to vote is a privilege. I commend Indiana’s electric cooperatives for promoting and encouraging member-owners to vote,” said Connie Lawson, Indiana Secretary of State and Chief Elections Officer. “To paraphrase a quote from President Thomas Jefferson – ‘We don’t have government by the majority, but by the majority that gets involved.’”
ISA and LaGrange County REMC hope this outreach effort encourages Hoosiers to visit www.IndianaVoters.combefore they head to the polls and make their voices heard on November 6, 2012. To be eligible to vote, residents must register no later than 30 days before the election.