Saturday, November 05, 2016

Concerned about dropoff in rural voter turnout, electric co-ops have mounted a campaign

Rural electric cooperatives, concerned about poor voter turnout in rural areas in 2012, have mounted a campaign to turn out the rural vote Tuesday.

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association launched “Co-ops Vote,” a campaign designed "to boost voter turnout in areas served by cooperatives by encouraging electric co-op employees and their consumer members to exercise one of their most basic rights—the right to vote," NRECA said. Its CEO, Jeffrey Connor, said, “Co-ops Vote focuses elected leaders on the people who are most invested in the success of their own communities. With 42 million members across the nation, electric co-ops are a powerful voice on national issues that have a local impact. We want to be sure that voice is always heard, especially on Election Day.”

Chris Perry, president of the Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives, wrote, “In the 2012 elections, voter turnout in rural America dropped by 18 percent, twice the voter drop-off seen nationally. One year ago in Kentucky's 2015 statewide election, voter turnout was only 30.6 percent. Sixty-six of Kentucky's 120 counties failed to reach 30 percent voter turnout, mostly in rural areas. In fact, three rural Kentucky counties failed to reach even 20 percent voter turnout.”

The co-ops have a website,, where voters can pledge to vote and get information about polling places and candidates.

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