In an al.com article (https://www.al.com/news/2020/02/alabama-expects-30-35-percent-voter-turnout-in-primary.html) published 2.27.2020 titled “Alabama expects 30-35 percent voter turnout in primary”, author Ramsey Archibald dissected Alabama’s statewide voter engagement by averaging the number of ballots cast in the 2016 Presidential Election, the 2017 Special Election, and the 2018 Midterms. The numbers were analyzed by county, and ranged from 42% to 62%, resulting in a statewide total of 53.7%. As the Democratic Nominee for Congress in Alabama’s 3rd Congressional District, I was interested in how our 13 counties measured up. And what I saw was telling. The counties that make up the 3rd Congressional District had the lowest turnout. Russell County, one of the District’s strongest Democratic counties, had the state’s lowest turnout. At first blush, these findings would be cause for discouragement. But I saw potential. Through targeted Get Out The Vote (GOTV) efforts focused exclusively on the 3rd Congressional District, we have the potential to flip a U.S. Representative seat, and a number of statewide offices, all while increasing Alabama’s overall voter turnout. Although the world we’re living in today is very different than when this article was published in February, the task at hand remains the same; we must bring more voters to the polls. In the age of COVID-19 and social distancing, we are all being forced to engage differently. And it is my goal to use these paradigm shifts to reach populations who have not previously been engaged politically. President Franklin Roosevelt stated “Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves -- and the only way they could do this is by not voting.” These words ring true, especially for Alabama’s 3rd Congressional District. We are our greatest ally and oppressor, depending upon how we exercise our voice on Election Day. In 2020, t’s time to get up, get out, and get to the polls.
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