Saturday, November 1, 2008

TENNESSEE TURNOUT: ChangeMemphis contributes to record turnout

We have a report and some photos from Jacob Flowers, Director of the Mid-South Peace & Justice Center about voter turnout in Tennesee. These voters are turning out in record numbers!

"All reports in from early voting in Memphis point to a record turnout in our communities. Since October 15, almost 40% of registered voters have cast their ballot during early voting. If trends continue we are set for a record turnout of 74-78% here, smashing the last presidential election turnout of 57%. What is even more impressive is that 46% of black voters have already cast their ballot, meaning that by the end of the day on Nov. 4, 90% of the black community may have voted.

But why? There are no hotly contested local races, in fact most candidates find themselves running unopposed. The national campaigns have written off Tennessee and neither major party candidate has graced our city to energize their bases.

Maybe it is because for the first time in a long time Memphians have answered their door to find a nonpartisan and grassroots effort wanting nothing more from them than a chance to increase their participation in our community. Maybe it is another sign that the Memphis community realizes that we are all in this together as we struggle to deal with the day to day effects of being too high on too many of the wrong lists in our country. One thing is for sure, that while national politics are tied up in a race to decide who will change Washington, our communities have not forgotten that meaningful and sustained change is needed here, on the local level. We demand it and we aren't stopping at the ballot box."

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