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Clean Energy Group Powers Vote in Tennessee

Tennessee's midterm election is expected to see a record turnout because of renewed energy of voters and two hotly contested races. (Twenty20)
Tennessee's midterm election is expected to see a record turnout because of renewed energy of voters and two hotly contested races. (Twenty20)
October 15, 2018

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The pursuit of clean energy is what drives groups such as the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, but this election season, the alliance is working with dozens of volunteers across Tennessee to get out the vote.

The group registered voters across the state and now, has its sights set on turning folks out at the polls.

"It can't be a half-hearted pursuit in order to make real change,” says Michael MacMiller, a Southern Alliance regional organizer. “We need everybody, all hands on deck. You can't complain about the results of the game if you don't check in at all. "

Almost 38,000 people registered to vote on the deadline day alone last Tuesday – due in part to the boost from celebrity Taylor Swift weighing in on the midterm election.

The alliance and its grassroots campaign, Renew Tennessee, will now plan seven Election Day parties at polling stations across the state in an effort to increase voter turnout.

Organizer Jenn Galler concentrated her efforts on colleges in east Tennessee and noticed enthusiasm among many.

"It was super exciting for some of the students because they were like, 'Oh, I just turned 18 and finally get to vote,'" she relates.

In addition to registering, Renew Tennessee organizers are building volunteer teams to educate Tennesseans on issues around clean and affordable energy.

But MacMiller says first there's one thing that should be on the top of everyone's to do list.

"We're going to throw a party at seven precincts all around Tennessee,” he states. “We know you're registered. Now just come along and do the last piece, which is actually coming out to vote."

Currently, Tennessee is ranked 50th in voter turnout and 40th in voter registration. Turnout is expected to be higher than normal, with voters selecting a new governor and U.S. Senate candidate, in addition to local races.

Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - TN