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Last chance to register to vote today

Johnson City Press • Jul 7, 2020 at 9:00 AM

Northeast Tennessee, like the rest of the U.S., has heard a lot of shouting of late. Whether it be about novel coronavirus, racial injustice or politics in general, grumbles have turned into thunder.

Making your voice heard is one thing. Doing something with it is another. A vote is the loudest, most meaningful shout available in our society.

If you want to shout in the Aug. 6 general local election and state and national primaries, today is your last chance to register to vote.

On the surface, it would seem that young people in particular are more fired up than usual. What remains to be seen, however, is whether they will use that energy at the ballot box. But the same is true for most adults, as Tennessee has one of the worst voter participation records in the country.

That’s why the efforts of the League of Women Voters of Northeast Tennessee are so important.

The nonpartisan league has made registering voters and getting out the vote its top priorities in this election cycle. That includes reaching out to voters young and old — from college students to seniors — to make sure they are registered to vote and participate in the election process.

As Senior Reporter Robert Houk reported in Sunday’s edition, Washington County residents can register to vote in person at the Washington County Election Commission in the county’s courthouse at 100 E. Main St. in Jonesborough. Check with your local election commission if you reside in another county.

You can also register to vote online at govotetn.com. If it’s been a while since you voted, you can also check your registration status, update your address, verify your districts and more at that same site.

We hear a lot of reasons people do not vote — mainly because they think their vote will not count. It’s true that your vote may be drowned out by a vast majority in a particularly partisan community.

But if you opt out for that reason, think of how many others might be making the same mistake. Voting and encouraging others to do the same is the best way to effect change.

Please, if you have not registered or need to update your status, do so today. If you miss today’s deadline Aug. 6 election, you’ll still have the opportunity to register for the November election through Oct. 5, but why wait when you can participate now?