As a member-owned electric cooperative, voting is already in our DNA. It’s how we maintain an electric utility that is responsive to the consumers we serve. Cooperatives were founded as democratic organizations controlled by members who participate in setting policies and making decisions. It is a natural fi t for electric co-ops to be engaged in ensuring our employees, trustees, and members are applying these important principles at their local ballot box as well during election season.
Through the Co-ops Vote program, Kansas policymakers and candidates visited several rural electric cooperatives during the month of July, including Victory Electric, to help them better understand the consumer-member model that drives how our cooperatives serve communities across Kansas. Brad Ralph, attorney for the City of Dodge City and Kansas 119 district representative, and Dr. Bill Cliff ord, congressional candidate, joined a Co-ops Vote discussion at Victory Electric on July 29.
Voting plays a crucial part in our representative democracy. Federal, state and local elections offer an opportunity to exercise a civic responsibility — to select the best leaders for our communities. This year is going to be a big one, with the possibility for unprecedented voter turnout. When voters miss the chance to vote they also lose the opportunity to communicate their concern to our leaders about the issues that matter to us, where we work, live and raise families.
Reliable electricity, rural infrastructure and access to rural broadband are just a few of the issues we all care about. These issues will only become priorities if we continue to express our concerns to our elected officials. Registering to vote and showing up to the polls on Election Day are the most effective ways to send this message.
When we go to the polls with the cooperative principle of “concern for community” in mind, we instantly improve our political system. It’s a system designed to produce a government “of the people, by the people and for the people.” People like you and me.
We have the opportunity to continue the dialogue with a variety of candidates this year, and now is the perfect time to ask, “what will you do to ensure we continue to have affordable and reliable electricity in our community?” This is a perfect time to confirm your voter registration is valid and encourage any new voters to get registered. 2020 — It’s a great time to go vote!
For information on how to register and vote in our state, visit the Co-ops Vote website: vote.coop. You can also find information about elected officials and read more about issues important to our community.
Co-ops Vote is a non-partisan program developed by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives. By participating in Co-ops Vote, you will join with 42 million members across the nation, to ensure electric co-ops are a powerful voice on national issues that have a local impact.