Hello Tennessee Interfaith Power & Light Friends:
We don’t need to tell you how important the upcoming election is. In this post, you will find:
- Information that might be useful as you plan how you will vote and how to track your ballot if you are voting by mail.
- Information on how to volunteer with the national Environmental Voter Project, a non-partisan organization working hard to increase turnout of pro-environment voters.
Okay, once again, this election is incredibly important. So, most of all, be sure to vote. And second, if you have the time, get involved with some effort to get out a strong pro-environment vote. EVP is a good option for that. If you have questions about the EVP effort, contact Rev. Slentz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In defense of this good Earth, Betsy Garber, TIPL President
First, planning your vote and tracking your ballot if you vote by mail.
The most important source for voting information is the Tennessee Secretary of State’s Voter Information web page.
On that page, you will find information about ways we can vote in Tennessee:
Absentee Voting By-Mail Remember that you:
- — have to meet certain requirements to be able to vote absentee by mail (see website for who is eligible);
- — you must request a ballot from your County Election Commission (the deadline is Oct. 27, but that is way too late given the way mail is running now, go ahead and make the request now);
- — when you get your ballot, follow the instructions carefully and be sure to sign where instructed.
- — your ballot must be mailed back to your County Election Commission through the U.S. Postal Service (can’t be hand delivered and no drop-off boxes), and it must be received by your county election office by election day, November 3. It is not enough for it to just be postmarked by November 3.
- — one $0.55 stamp or first class “forever” stamp is all that is needed to mail in your ballot.
Locations and times for early in person voting will vary from county to county. So, to find out specifics for your county, go to the County Elections Commissions Map and click on your county. Go to this site to find your Voter Registration Information and Polling Place.
Election Day Voting – In Person
Of course, the third option is to vote in person on election day, November 3. If you have questions about where you vote, again contact your county’s election commission or go to this site: Voter Registration Information and Polling Place. Be sure to take an Acceptable ID.
Also, unlike early voting, YOU MUST GO TO THE POLLING SITE YOU ARE ASSIGNED TO (BASED ON YOUR HOME ADDRESS). Again, go to Voter Registration and Polling Place to be sure where you are to vote on Election Day.
Tracking your absentee by-mail ballot
If you are eligible to do so and have voted or will vote by mail, you can make sure your ballot has been received by your county election commission by going to Voter Registration Information and Polling Place.
Second, how to volunteer to get out a strong pro-environment vote through The Environmental Voter Project
Believe it or not, environmentalists vote at lower than average rates. To increase the voting rate for people who care about the Earth, the non-partisan Environmental Voter Project (EVP) has identified pro-environment registered voters (through a variety of means) in 12 key states. They are using volunteers to call those voters to encourage them to vote and provide them with information about how to vote in their locale.
TIPL-Nashville Chairperson, Rev. Paul Slentz, has done some phone banking with them and can report that the training is good and that it’s really pretty easy (even for somebody as tech-phobic as Paul). All the equipment you need is a computer and a phone. (Note from Paul: “I left a fair number of voice mails, had some wrong numbers, and some no answers. But the ones I did talk to were friendly and appreciated the information I could provide them. I was calling people in Nevada and it was more fun than I thought it would be!)
You don’t provide any private information to the people you call. You just use your first name and identify yourself as a volunteer for EVP. The number that shows up on caller ID is that of EVP.
To sign up to volunteer, go to EVP’s Get Involved web page. To check out volunteer training times (a good way to figure out if this is something you’d like to do), go to EVP’s Events and Trainings web page.