Coalition emphasizes the importance of women voting - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Coalition emphasizes the importance of women voting

(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5) (SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)

For this election season, there is a big push to get women out to the polls.

Kicking off the start of early voting Wednesday, a coalition of women groups and advocates stood on the steps of a Shelby County office building trying to bring home the message of the importance of women voting in the election.

"As a unified voice to mobilize our communities, to let them know we're leading by example," Sister Reach founder, Cherisse Scott, said.

Scott's Sister Reach foundation is one of the groups in the coalition that said the trend of low voter turn out needs to end.

"We only have 4,600 people who voted in Memphis for this last primary election. That is unacceptable," Scott said.

The numbers reflect just how much these votes matter. According to the Shelby County Election Commission, women make up about 67 percent of the Memphis vote and 51 percent of Shelby County.

Early voters said there is no excuse to avoid the booths.

"It's a little bit of a hassle. You have to go do it," Akvile Zakarauskaite said. "If there's even a chance that you could affect change, even if you don't think you might, you might as well try...there's so many different opportunities, so many different ways to come out and vote."

State Representative G.A. Hardaway isn't a woman, but he agrees with Sister Reach's plea to get women to the polls. In fact, he says that men should be helping and stepping up to support issues that impact women as well.

"At the end of the day, real men need to step forward on the issues that impact women, impact the women in your household," Hardaway said.

That impact can begin with early voting.

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