BLOUNTVILLE — Sullivan County Administrator of Elections Jason C. Booher is encouraging voter registration in all county public, private, charter or home school associations by promoting Secretary of State Tre Hargett’s new Anne Dallas Dudley Award, which recognizes schools that reach at least 85% voter registration of eligible seniors.
“I anticipate that each of our county schools will achieve this award based upon the success of our past annual voter registration visits to each of the high schools in the county,” Booher said. “For over a decade we have been visiting each high school in the county to register students that are or will be 18 years of age by the next election, and when permitted, we talk to the students about the importance of voting.”
September is National Voter Registration Month. In addition to launching the Anne Dallas Dudley Award at the high school level, Hargett’s office is leading voter registration efforts across the state with college voter registration tailgates and by working with businesses and organizations.
“More Tennesseans are registered to vote now than any time in our state’s history. During National Voter Registration Month, we are looking to build on this momentum,” Hargett said. “That is why we are working with high schools, universities, businesses and organizations to make sure everyone knows that it has never been easier to register to vote or cast a ballot in Tennessee.”
Renowned suffragist Anne Dallas Dudley helped lead the successful effort to get the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution ratified nationwide and in her home state of Tennessee. On Aug. 18, 1920, Tennessee became the 36th and final state needed to pass the amendment giving women the right to vote.
“We launched this new award because we believe our state and our nation are stronger when every eligible Tennessean is registered to vote and casts a ballot on Election Day,” Hargett said. “We are working with county election commissions across our great state to make sure students know that it has never been easier to register to vote in Tennessee and then to participate in our elections.”
High schools across the state that register 100% of the eligible students will earn the Anne Dallas Dudley Gold Level Award. High schools that register at least 85% of the eligible students, will earn the Anne Dallas Dudley Silver Level Award.
Each high school that earns the Gold Level Award will receive a commemorative plaque and recognize students who led the registration efforts with certificates. For the Silver Level Award, the students who led the registration efforts will be presented certificates recognizing their work.
Through the Your Vote Matters program, the Secretary of State’s office is working with businesses and organizations across the state including Ascension Saint Thomas, Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee Inc., Home Depot, Memphis Grizzlies, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, Nashville Predators, Nike, Professional Educators of Tennessee, Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Tennessee County Services Association and Volkswagen Group of America Inc. to help them promote voter registration and civic engagement to their employees, customers and community.
The Secretary of State’s office is providing corporate and community organizations participating in the Your Vote Matters program with tools they can use to promote National Voter Registration Month. Hargett is also speaking with groups across the state about how to increase civic engagement. Any Tennessee business or organization can join Your Vote Matters by registering on GoVoteTN.gov.
“Your vote is your voice, and your vote matters. But if you don’t vote, you are giving up your voice and letting others decide who will represent you,” Hargett said. “The first step to casting a ballot is registering to vote. If you are not registered, now is the time to get registered. If you’re already registered, you can participate by encouraging your friends, co-workers and neighbors to register to vote.”