Tag Archives: outreach

TN Democrats Plan Latino Outreach

News release from Tennessee Democratic Party:
NASHVILLE — Democrats are building a plan to better engage Tennessee’s fast-growing Latino community and they’ve enlisted the help of Katherine Archuletta, the Obama campaign’s National Political Director.
Archuletta, the first Latina to hold that position on a major presidential campaign, will give remarks Jan. 21 in Nashville at the Tennessee Democratic Party’s inaugural Latino Summit.
The summit is the state party’s first step in engaging and energizing Hispanic Tennesseans for the 2012 election season. Members of the Latino and Hispanic community throughout Tennessee are encouraged to attend the free event and offer suggestions for improving community outreach.
Fabian Bedne, the first Latino elected to Metro-Nashville Council, is helping Democrats coordinate the statewide outreach and helped plan the summit.
“The challenges facing Latino Tennesseans and their families are by no means unique; many Tennessee families are working hard to find good jobs, to provide a good education for their children and to make sure their families can see a doctor when they need to,” Bedne said. “However, addressing those issues in Tennessee’s diverse communities may require unique solutions.
“We hope the summit will be starting place for encouraging more dialogue, engagement and participation in the civic process,” Bedne said. “We’ll only solve the big problems our communities face with more involvement from all our families.”
The Latino population in Tennessee has more than doubled over the last decade, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Census.
Ashford Hughes, political director for the Tennessee Democratic Party, said feedback from the summit will be used to craft programs specific to Latinos for voter registration, candidate recruitment and civic empowerment.
Anyone interested in learning more about the TNDP Latino Summit or interested in attending should contact the TNDP by phone at 615-327-9779.

Note: Spanish version of the release is below.

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Democrats Launch Their Own Voter Outreach; Deem State Effort ‘Woefully Inadequate’

Election officials are holding “voter outreach” programs across the state Tuesday to explain the Tennessee law requiring a photo ID for voting, but Democratic officials said today the official efforts are “woefully inadequate.”
State Democratic Chairman Chip Forrester, joined by Democratic legislators seeking repeal of the photo ID law, held a news conference Monday at the Legislative Plaza to announce the party will have its own “voter registration and education” effort starting Saturday.
All 95 county election commissions are hosting events today – most in a “town hall” format — where citizens can hear an explanation about the new law and ask questions. That effort is coordinated by the state Division of Elections, overseen by Secretary of State Tre Hargett.
Forrester said the Division of Elections effort is inadequate because it focuses on the 126,000 persons who are now registered to vote but hold driver’s licenses without a photo, which are not acceptable for voting under the new law.
Democrats say there are about 675,000 people potentially impacted by the law. That includes people over age 18 counted in the 2010 U.S. Census who are not currently registered voters plus the 126,000 registered voters with invalid driver licenses.
The new law effectively creates “another layer of bureaucracy” to discourage those not now registered to vote from doing so, the Democrats said. Forrester cited a report finding Tennessee already ranks 49th among states in the percentage of eligible voters casting ballots.
Forrester and the Democratic legislators say their education effort will target all eligible voters with the goal of getting them registered to vote as well as in compliance with the photo ID law. Free photo identification card for voting are being offered at drivers’ license stations with 2,385 such cards issued as of Oct. 24.
The Democratic effort will continue for a year, Forrester said, to counter a law that “effectively labels 675,000 Tennesseans as second-class citizens, good enough to pay taxes but not good enough to be a voter.”
Hargett, meanwhile, said the 95-county outreach effort coordinated by the Division of Elections “is massive and certain to reach a tremendous number of voters.”
(Note: The Democratic news release and a Senate Republican Caucus release on photo ID are below.)

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Voter ID ‘Outreach’ Scheduled Nov. 1 in all 95 TN Counties

News release from Secretary of State’s office:
As part of an ongoing effort to inform voters about a new law that will require them to show valid photo identification at the polls, election officials in all 95 Tennessee counties will be hosting outreach programs Nov. 1. State election officials believe this is the first time in Tennessee history voter outreach programs have been conducted in all 95 counties on the same day.
The formats may vary from county to county, but most are hosting town hall meetings where citizens can ask questions about the new law.
A list with the time and location of each county’s event can be viewed at http://tnsos.net/Elections/voterid/PresentationsList.php.
The law, which takes effect Jan. 1, requires people to show a valid state or federal government-issued photo ID in order to vote. Examples of acceptable forms of ID include driver licenses, U.S. passports, Department of Safety photo ID cards, U.S. military photo IDs and state or federal government photo ID cards. College student IDs are not acceptable.
There are a number of safeguards in the law to ensure eligible voters are not disenfranchised. The photo ID requirement does not apply to:
•People who vote absentee by mail
•People who vote in licensed nursing homes or assisted living facilities
•People who are hospitalized
•People who have religious objections to being photographed
•People who are indigent and cannot obtain photo IDs without paying fees
Voters who forget to bring photo identification to the polls may cast provisional ballots and return to their local election offices with proof of their identities within two business days after elections.
“I commend our election commissions and administrators of elections for working hard to spread the word about this new law,” Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. “To my knowledge, nothing like this has ever been done before. This outreach campaign is massive and certain to reach a tremendous number of voters.”
For more information about the new law, contact the state Division of Elections at 1-877-850-4959 or your local election commission office.