Maddie Patton (right) is a Save the Children Action Network Student Ambassador at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Did you know that Tennessee ranks 49th in voter turnout in the United States? In 2016, barely half of all registered voters in Tennessee actually turned out on Election Day. As political advocates, we have the privilege and responsibility to vote, to make sure we are represented by politicians who will make the best decisions for the people in our state, especially our kids!
There are more than 1 million children under the age of 18 in Tennessee, and it is our job to be their political voice. Change is made by those who show up and vote, so here are my top three reasons for making it a priority to vote on November 6.
Reason #1: Your vote not only affects your life, but the lives of thousands of people living in Tennessee who can’t vote. I am passionate about children and early childhood education; therefore, I want to make sure that the next governor, senator, state representatives, and other elected officials are going to make Tennessee’s kids a top priority. You can take action by talking with candidates at events to learn more about their stances. You can also learn more by paying attention to what is reported in the media, or looking up candidate’s websites and social media profiles prior to Election Day to make sure you are making the most informed decision.
Reason #2: There are 1 gubernatorial seat, 1 U.S. Senate seat, 3 U.S. congressional seats, and 27 state representative seats open for election this November. You have the opportunity to take part in electing many new lawmakers, so it is important to go out and vote for candidates who will put their efforts toward the things you value and care about, whether that is veterans, kids, health care, education, or anything in between! Voting for candidates who care about kids could result in huge wins for funding programs around the state.
Reason #3: Critical legislation and programs like the Voluntary Pre-K initiative and Home Visiting programs will be on the agenda for our future elected officials. These decisions will directly affect the resources and education that families and children in Tennessee receive. You can make sure that these imperative and extraordinary programs remain active by going out and voting for the candidates who will support them.
Your vote matters. Don’t miss your chance to be a voice for Tennessee’s kids!
Editor’s Note: This blog is part of a series highlighting why it’s important to vote in the midterm elections, written from a state-by-state perspective. Check out the blogs from Colorado, South Carolina, Washington, Iowa and Ohio!