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The organization WhenWeAllVote — co-chaired by celebrities like Michelle Obama and Janelle Monáe — wants you to register to vote today if you live in one of the following 19 states:

Several of these states are red states vulnerable to a Democratic uprising in November, like Texas, where Democrat Beto O’Rourke of El Paso is neck-and-neck with former presidential candidate Ted Cruz, running in his first re-election battle. The RealClearPolitics polling average shows Cruz leading O’Rourke by an average of just six points in a state President Trump won by nearly ten points.

And in Kentucky, Republican Andy Barr is running to keep the seat he has held since 2013 in a tight race with former Marine Corps pilot Amy McGrath. The New York Times has rated that race as one of the most competitive in the country, and one Democrats will likely have to win if they want to win back a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Another state whose voter registration deadline is today is Tennessee, where former two-term Democratic governor Phil Bredesen is running in a close race with Republican Marsha Blackburn. Bredesen’s chances appeared in doubt when several Democratic super PACs abandoned him following his statement supporting Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation. However, following Taylor Swift’s endorsement of Bredesen in an Instagram post, thousands of new Tennessee voters — presumably Swift fans — registered to vote.

 

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I’m writing this post about the upcoming midterm elections on November 6th, in which I’ll be voting in the state of Tennessee. In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now. I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country. I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG. I believe that the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent. I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for ALL Americans, no matter their skin color, gender or who they love. Running for Senate in the state of Tennessee is a woman named Marsha Blackburn. As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn. Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me. She voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which attempts to protect women from domestic violence, stalking, and date rape. She believes businesses have a right to refuse service to gay couples. She also believes they should not have the right to marry. These are not MY Tennessee values. I will be voting for Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives. Please, please educate yourself on the candidates running in your state and vote based on who most closely represents your values. For a lot of us, we may never find a candidate or party with whom we agree 100% on every issue, but we have to vote anyway. So many intelligent, thoughtful, self-possessed people have turned 18 in the past two years and now have the right and privilege to make their vote count. But first you need to register, which is quick and easy to do. October 9th is the LAST DAY to register to vote in the state of TN. Go to vote.org and you can find all the info. Happy Voting! 🗳😃🌈

A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

Perhaps the biggest statewide race anywhere in the country is the Georgia gubernatorial election, in which Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp — Georgia’s current Secretary of State — are facing off for the open seat vacated by term-limited governor Nathan Deal. Abrams, who could potentially be America’s first black female governor, is polling within half a point of Kemp according to RealClearPolitics.

Voters in the critical purple state of Ohio have until the end of Tuesday to register, and will be electing both a new governor, as well as deciding whether or not to re-elect Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) or elect his Republican opponent Jim Renacci. Brown is ahead of Renacci by a double-digit margin, though the gubernatorial election between Democrat Richard Cordray — the former director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — and Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine, is much closer, with Cordray ahead of DeWine by just three points.

In both Georgia and Ohio, it’s particularly important for people to not only register, but to check their registrations, with one candidate even using his position to purge thousands of voters from the rolls. Fast Company reported that Kemp has purged roughly one in ten Georgia voters from the rolls, using the justification that some voters had moved out of state or out of their respective Congressional district and should be made to re-register. However, investigative journalist Greg Palast found that many of the voters who were purged never moved out of Georgia, or even out of their districts.

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, in the meantime, won a Supreme Court case in June in which his purge of thousands of voters was upheld. Husted argued that voters should be removed from the rolls if they fail to vote in consecutive elections. With his Supreme Court victory, Husted’s voter purges could be repeated across the country.

You can check your registration and find out how to register by going to WhenWeAllVote’s website.

 

Tom Cahill is a contributor for Grit Post who covers political and economic news. He lives in Bend, Oregon. Send him an email at tom DOT v DOT cahill AT gmail DOT com.

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