Illinois’ electric cooperatives’ top priority is providing consumer-members with safe, reliable and affordable energy. But this job requires more than stringing and maintaining power lines. It requires political engagement. That may seem far removed from our core mission, but it’s absolutely essential to the services cooperatives provide.
That’s why electric co-ops in Illinois and across the country are participating in Co-ops Vote, a nonpartisan program that encourages all co-op members to participate in national, state and local elections. The program also aims to educate political candidates and elected officials about the important role electric cooperatives play in their local communities.
The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the service organization representing the nation’s electric co-ops, launched Co-ops Vote in 2016. Co-ops Vote started as a national get-out-the-vote initiative that helped drive rural voter turnout.
As co-ops, the civic virtue of voting is in our DNA. We show concern for community—one of the seven cooperative principles—through participation in our democracy.
Co-ops have another advantage. Elected officials and decision-makers across the political spectrum trust us because of the work the electric cooperative family has put into political engagement. When we all get involved, we can make things happen politically and in our local communities.
We know Election Day may look a little different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that’s why we’re encouraging all co-op members to stay engaged and informed of any changes to polling locations or absentee and mail-in balloting procedures.
Voting is central to American democracy. We hope you will commit to cast your ballot on Nov. 3. To learn more about the upcoming elections and access resources that can help you stay informed, visit www.vote.coop.