Non-profit aiming to register more than 25,000 to vote in Chatham County

CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga (WSAV) – Election day is still more than a month away, but the effort to get anyone who can vote registered is in high gear. One local non profit group has made it their mission.

Presidential debates and local candidate forums are a week away and then begins the quick transition into the election. With possibly ten percent of those eligible to vote in Chatham county not registered a national non-profit is giving them a chance to let their vote be heard.

When you check your mail this week, there may be a letter asking about your voter status.

“Unmarried women, people of color and millennials, there are one point seven million unregistered, eligible what we call the rising American electorate,” says Voter Participation Center founder and president Page Gardner.

The national non profit Voter Participation Center is sending nearly six hundred thousand registration forms across the state to potential but unregistered voters.

“It is so important to register to vote, so making sure that people get voter registration in their mailboxes and saying ‘fill this out and send it to the appropriate elections officials, really helps to increase the voter registration rates,” Gardner adds.

In Chatham county alone the group is sending more than twenty five thousand applications, but locally the NAACP says that’s half the battle.

“Just registration by itself does not guarantee a good turnout. Savannah at the last election was a seven percent turnout, before that a seventeen percent turnout. For a city of this size we think that’s just horrible,” says Savannah branch vice president Richard Shinhoster.

The more than 180,000 eligible and registered voters have yet to come out in a majority this election year.

“People believe that their vote doesn’t count, people believe that there’s just so much politics going on that they get turned off,” Shinhoster adds.

This November voters will elect a new president and locally there are races for commissioners, school board, and several state referendums that could change our education system dramatically.

“One vote makes a difference, there have been elections that were won by one vote or a few votes and it makes a majority, it makes a difference.”

For those who rely on mail in or absentee ballots, Chatham county will start mailing those out tomorrow. If you are unsure of your registration status or you want to change any personal information contact the board of elections.

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