EnergyLines September 2016

This November co-ops vote!


On Nov. 8 will you be voting?


If you’re a co-op voter, chances are you’re saying: “Yes!”


Voter turnout is important across the country, but it’s especially significant in rural America where turnout dropped 18 percent in the 2012 elections — twice the drop-off seen nationally.


When NRECA rolled out its nationwide Co-ops Vote campaign last February to help reverse that trend, BJ Myers, Administrative Assistant/Communications Specialist at Southeastern REMC in Osgood, Indiana, took the campaign to heart.


Using an abundance of materials at her fingertips from the Co-ops Vote website, BJ began promoting the campaign through Southeastern’s website and internally through the co-op’s newsletter.


“Then it kind of mushroomed,” she says. She’s done such a great job promoting Co-ops Vote that NRECA named Southeastern among its top 50 super users in their “5-Star Co-op Program.”


All it took was a little time, looking over NRECA’s suggestions and the ideas just flowed, she says.


In August, she set up a Co-ops Vote booth at Southeastern’s member appreciation day and asked members if they would “take the pledge” to vote in November. She added a “ballot box” and laminated poster and a photo booth for members to show why they are co-op voters. The response was positive, she says. “We probably had about a third of the members come up and sign the pledge card or get their photo taken.”


She even rolled out a campaign internally to encourage employees to vote. Participation is good, she says. “People are interested, and they can’t believe it’s not about politics.”


Regardless of party affiliation or loyalties, the whole point, she says, is to encourage voters to go to the polls on Nov. 8 and let rural voices be heard.



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