Nonpartisan Coalition Races To Register Tennessee Residents Before Deadline | Nashville Public Radio

Nonpartisan Coalition Races To Register Tennessee Residents Before Deadline

Oct 9, 2018

Today — Oct. 9 — is the last day before the November election to register to vote in Tennessee, and in Davidson County, officials say more people are signing up.

The uptick could be attributed to the number of community groups doing outreach, including the Tennessee Black Voter Project, a state coalition trying to register 55,000 people of color.

Tequila Johnson, the coalition’s statewide manager, said there’s high interest in the race for Senate. 

"This election is extremely important, and we also have a governor that will be on the ballot as well," Johnson said. "These are elections that are important to the entire state.”

Johnson said the organization are not only registering people in urban areas, but that it is also going into rural communities. The coalition has partnered with groups across the state that already have relationships with community members.

“These organizations are using the existing relationship to make sure everyone in their community are registered to vote," Johnson said.

Davidson County officials say that about 5,900 people registered to vote in September, a number slightly higher than in previous years with midterm elections.

But getting people signed up to vote is only part of the challenge.

Researchers say that in 2016, only 51 percent of the people who registered in Tennessee went on to vote. They ranked the state 48th in voter turnout.