With presidential primaries and caucuses already under way, and 468 congressional races this year, the 42 million people served by co-ops represent a lot of votes.“Every vote is important and we want to make sure the voice of electric cooperatives is heard,” said NRECA CEO Glenn English. “Engaging co-op member-owners in the political process is essential if we’re to maintain a competitive edge in the legislative arena.”
In support of that goal, NRECA has launched a new Web portal available to electric cooperatives that is filled with information on voter registration, presidential primary and caucus dates and congressional primary dates. “ America’s Electric Cooperatives Vote 2012 includes interactive links and drop down menus providing voter information for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
“We want to do all we can to make sure co-op members vote on Election Day,” said Randy Dwyer, NRECA’s director of grassroots advocacy. “That’s the best way to ensure that the voices of electric cooperatives are heard, not only during the election cycle, but in the years ahead.”
Political clout has always been critical to the electric cooperative movement. Broad-based, bipartisan congressional support led to funding for the Rural Electrification Administration in the 1930s and continues to sustain the Rural Utilities Service today. Those agencies, along with rural development initiatives, still have important roles to play in rural and suburban areas across the nation, Dwyer said.
Make your vote count
“Effective today, the link to the election center 2012 website is active on the home page of horryelectric.com,” said James P. “Pat” Howle, executive vice president and CEO of Horry Electric Cooperative. “The nonpartisan information we’re providing through this portal is ‘Civics 101,’ really”, he continued. “We are being proactive about providing this opportunity to members because decisions made in Congress have a direct impact on electric bills and each vote is critical to the effort to keep electricity prices at affordable levels.”
The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) is the national service organization dedicated to representing the national interests of cooperative electric utilities and the consumers they serve. Horry Electric Cooperative is one of the more than 900 not-for-profit rural electric cooperatives and public power districts providing retail electric service to more than 42 million consumers in 47 states and whose retail sales account for approximately 12 percent of total electricity sales in the United States.