TN rated 6th ‘least politically engaged’ state in study

From the Nashville Business Journal:
Tennessee is the sixth-least politically engaged state, according to a new report from personal finance site WalletHub.com.

WalletHub analyzed the 50 states and Washington, D.C., across six metrics to generate its rankings. Metrics ranged from the percentage of registered voters in the 2012 presidential election to the voter turnout in the 2010 midterm elections.

Tennessee ranked second to last in turnout for the 2010 midterm elections, behind only Texas in terms of the percent of citizens who voted. The Volunteer State ranked No. 46 in turnout in the 2012 presidential election. It also ranked in the bottom third of states for the percent of citizens who were registered to vote in the last presidential election.

Here’s how Tennessee measured in several key categories:
No. 38: Percent of registered voters in 2012 presidential election
No. 50: Percent of citizens who voted in the 2010 midterm elections
No. 46: Percent of citizens who voted in the 2012 presidential election
No. 38: Total political contributors per adult population

There’s one improving sign in Tennessee: The state ranked No. 11 nationwide in voter turnout increase from the 2008 to the 2012 elections.

Note: The WalletHub report is HERE. The listing as 50th in 2010 midterm voting turnout is interesting in that, going by early voting totals so far, it appears the 2014 midterm turnout in Tennessee will be somewhat lower than in 2010. Black Fontenay, press secretary at the Secretary of State’s office, sent the following in response to a request for comment on the report:

Without having examined the methodology for the report, it is difficult to comment on the results in the report.

However, we have implemented several initiatives in the Division of Elections that are designed to encourage people to vote. Specifically, we unveiled our voter app which can be used on both the iPhone and the Android smartphones, we actively promoted voter registration through our “I’m Registered” social media campaign, and we launched the Honor Vote Program to give registered voters of Tennessee the opportunity to dedicate their votes to active-duty military personnel and veterans.

The voter app allows voters to use their smartphone to access the following information:

· Early voting and Election Day polling locations and hours of operation
· Candidate lists for the upcoming election
· Sample ballots for upcoming election
· Directions to early voting and Election Day polling locations
· County election commission information
· Access online election results through the application

In 2013, Tennessee created the “I Am Registered to Vote. Are You?” campaign. That campaign has proven extremely successful and we have had tremendous participation from celebrities as well as people from ordinary walks of life.

During September, National Voter Registration Month, we had almost two dozen colleges across Tennessee who participated in the month-long voter registration drive. Due to these concerted efforts, more than 1,000 Tennesseans become registered to vote.

Finally, the Honor Vote Program is a simple gesture which pays tribute to our active-duty military personnel and veterans. As our Tennessee voters participate in elections, the Honor Vote Program provides one more opportunity for them to say “thank you” to our active-duty military personnel and veterans for the sacrifices they have made and continue to make for our country.