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Are you a Co-op Voter?

Chris Meyers
General Manager
Oklahoma Association of
Electric Cooperatives

 

The vitality of rural communities depends on co-op voters. When rural citizens miss the chance to vote, they lose the opportunity to communicate concerns to leaders about the issues that matter to us: where we work, live and raise families. Federal, state and local elections offer an opportunity to exercise this civic responsibility—to elect the best leaders for our communities. 

What makes a “co-op voter” you might ask? Co-op voters are active voices in the community and promote the democratic system of governance for our nation’s institutions, from our electric co-ops to Congress. Co-op voters believe in policies that will modernize our nation’s energy supply in a way that keeps costs affordable, supports reliability, is environmentally responsible and avoids imposing undue burdens on consumers. Co-op voters want to preserve the way of life in rural America, but not let our future generations lag behind technologically. They will consider the beliefs of their candidate of choice—regardless of political party—about ensuring rural Americans have access to safe, reliable and affordable energy. 

It is important to make your voice heard in every election. But even if you have skipped elections in the past, it’s never too late to engage. This year is going to be a big one for elections, with the possibility for unprecedented voter turnout. Electric co-ops in Oklahoma and across the nation must find a way to ensure that candidates and elected officials understand the issues we face. 

When we go to the polls with the cooperative principle of “Concern for Community” in mind, we instantly improve our political system. This year, we have the opportunity to continue the dialogue with a variety of candidates, and now is the perfect time to ask, “What will you do to ensure we continue to have affordable and reliable electricity in our communities?” 

This is the ideal time to confirm your voter registration and encourage new voters to get registered. To help us with this task, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), developed a non-partisan program called “Co-ops Vote,” designed to ensure electric co-ops are a powerful voice on national issues that have local impact. 

Co-ops Vote’s purpose is to enhance the political strength of electric cooperatives through relationship building and voter engagement. We urge Oklahoma rural voters to be engaged and elect public officials who support the issues important to electric cooperatives and their 42 million members across the nation, representing 905 electric cooperatives. 

For information on how to register and vote in Oklahoma, visit: http://bit.ly/OKCoopsVote, and to learn more about Co-ops Vote, visit: www.vote.coop OKL Article End

 

Census 2020: Everyone Counts

Tim Smith
President
Oklahoma Association of
Electric Cooperatives

 

"When everyone counts, everyone wins.” This is the slogan for the Oklahoma 2020 U.S. census campaign, and it is spot on. The U.S. census is not only a civic duty, it’s the law. The Constitution mandates the United States to count its population every 10 years. The census—administered by the U.S. Census Bureau, a non-partisan government agency—counts every person living in the 50 states, District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories. Below are three reasons why you should participate: 

1) The census is important. It provides a picture of the nation that helps determine where to build new schools, hospitals, and businesses; how federal funding is distributed; and how congressional seats are apportioned. It also helps to evaluate how communities have changed over time. The census count will provide funding and services we will live with for the next 10 years. Oklahoma communities stand to gain an estimated $1,675 per person, per year for the next 10 years in federal support for programs that use census data such as healthcare, parks and roads, education—and more. That is why it is vital that we get an accurate count and that everyone takes the time to participate. 

2) You and your community count. As an engaged community partner, your rural electric cooperative understands the importance of the U.S. census and encourages every co-op member to participate. We understand gathering this data is crucial to ensure our local communities continue to grow with proper development. 

3) It is fast, secure and efficient. For the first time, the U.S. census will be available online starting in March. The census can also be submitted via phone or mail and even in person, if needed. It will take an estimated 12 minutes to complete the census. By mid-April, a paper questionnaire will be mailed to every household that has not yet responded online or by phone. If necessary, participants can also respond in person beginning in mid-May. Strict federal law protects census responses. It is against the law for any Census Bureau employee to disclose or publish any census information that identifies an individual or business. 

Truly, when we participate, we all win. To make sure you and everyone you know is counted, visit www.2020census.govOKL Article End