MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Leaders from several area women’s organizations gathered at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Memphis on Saturday to launch a non-partisan campaign to encourage women to vote early.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, record numbers of voters are expected to cast their ballots early this year to avoid the long lines on election day.
The leaders from the women’s organizations want to make sure women turn out in great numbers to vote early.
“To make sure our voices are heard, and we get people in place who can help us through these critical times,” Deborah Clubb, the executive director of the Women’s Council, explained.
It was one of the groups that helped launch the campaign called Women Vote Early.
“We are determined that the vote, which is a hard-fought right that we have and really a responsibility is used by women, especially this year,” Clubb said. “Especially with so many policies and issues that are happening around the pandemic that are horribly affecting women, and women and children.”
They say those issues include employment, healthcare, reproductive rights, domestic violence, and pay equity - among many others.
Statistics show women are the majority of the population in the United States.
They have also made up the majority of voters in several elections now.
However, research from Rutgers University Center for American Women and Politics shows that about four in 10 women do not vote.
State Sen. Raumesh Akbari says women will be key in determining which candidates win in November.
“I think we’ll have a tremendous impact. The 2016 election turned on women’s turnout, the 2018 midterms as well. So, I think we’re going to have a big impact,” Akbari said. “Women are going to vote early. We’re going to make a difference, and I’m super excited about it.”
Clubb offered reassurance to women concerned about voting in-person.
“Even with the health concerns, the voting places are being very careful with protocols and protections,” Clubb said. “We must come out and vote.”
Early voting in Tennessee starts Oct. 14 and runs through Oct. 29.
For more information, including finding an early voting location, visit https://www.shelbyvote.com/