Make Rural Issues a Priority in 2016

Over the past several weeks, millions of Americans have trekked to local school gymnasiums, churches and community centers to cast votes in Presidential, Congressional and local races. Before the nominating process is over, millions more will follow suit. The enthusiasm with which citizens are participating in this election season is encouraging and foreshadows a robust debate as we head into the elections.

In the months ahead, it would be wise for candidates to remember the 42 million-member electric cooperative community, a diverse and vast group of Americans that reach into almost every district and every state in this country.

Electric co-ops are not-for-profit energy providers that are owned by the members they serve. They provide coverage for 75 percent of our nation’s landmass. They are a foundation in their communities and their consumers are making their voices heard this election on issues that matter most to them, such as affordable electricity, broadband internet access and job security for veterans.

To ensure that all electric co-op members are part of the debate this election season, our national association, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), has launched the Co-ops Vote initiative. This non-partisan program has three goals:

to increase rural voter registration and turnout,
educate co-op consumers on key issues and
elevate the influence of rural Americans in the outcome of this election.

By participating in the Co-ops Vote program and taking the pledge to make electric co-op issues a priority this November, consumers are sending a resounding message that candidates will need to put our concerns front and center in order to earn our vote. With millions of electric co-op members speaking out with one voice, we are already having a major impact in making our top issues part of the national conversation.

Wake Electric encourages everyone, regardless of their political beliefs, to join America’s electric co-ops in this national effort. Let’s stand up for the priorities of the rural electric co-op community in the lead-up to November 8. Join us, and learn more at