Coalition holding voting program

Published 7:50 pm Monday, August 27, 2018

VALLEY — Following a small Alabama primary voter turnout earlier this year, the Chambers County chapter of Alabama New South Coalition is holding an event tonight to urge local voters to use their voice in this November’s midterm election.

“No Vote, No Voice: Use It or Lose It” will be held at the H. Grady Bradshaw Library in Valley tonight at 6 p.m. eastern. The event aims to educate the public on what will be voted on, how they can vote and why their vote matters.

In last month’s primary runoff election, only 12.7 percent of registered state voters cast a ballot with an even smaller 11.23 percent voting in Chambers County. The local chapter wishes to increase that number significantly by emphasizing the importance of what their vote can do.

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“It’s to enlighten the public on the importance of the election this November and inform them on their voting rights,” chapter president Raymond Phillips said. “Voting in November is going to carry a lot of weight. Social Security, healthcare, child care, all those things are going to be important based on who we put into office this time.”

The event will act as a public forum, providing information while letting the public share their thoughts on ballot issues. In a press release by Alabama New South Coalition, Phillips explained that program participants will be able to deposit slips of paper in a bucket titled “Our Voices.” The electoral concerns written on the pieces of paper will be read aloud to everyone in attendance.

“Too often ordinary people, working families, those out-of-work or under-employed think it’s no use to vote [because] big money interests will always win,” Phillips said in the release. “But ‘We the People’ are the majority and we can have government that serves the common good if we only use the power we have — which is the vote!”

The program will also feature a presentation by Sean Champagne of the Alabama Voting Project. Champagne will be providing information on how voting rights for the formerly incarcerated can be restored by getting a Certificate of Eligibility as redefined by the Alabama Legislature in 2017, according to the release.

Open discussion will follow the presentations. The public is welcome and refreshments will be served. After the fact, Phillips hopes the information provided will lead to a record voter turnout this November.