The Memphis chapter of the Links, Inc. and Girls, Inc. of Memphis will host a “Get Out the Vote” campaign to help Memphis and Shelby County citizens register on Saturday (June 7th).
The voter registration drive will take place from 10 a.m. to noon in the main entrance of the Southland Mall. Participants can bring any form of government identification. Assistance with filling out the voter registration card will be provided, if necessary.
The outreach effort is being extended through the Links’ “It’s a Girl’s Life” (IAGL) program in conjunction with Girls, Inc. of Memphis’ Eureka Program.
“I personally feel that in order for our country and our city and county to have better representation, the only way that can happen is for each individual of legal age to exercise their right to vote so that they can put appropriate candidates in office to carry out the duties and wills of their constituents,” said Sharon Devine Harris, the service to youth chairperson for the Links, Inc.
Established in 2008, IAGL, in partnership with Girls, Inc. of Memphis, addresses the lack of achievement and low self-esteem among many African-American girls in the Memphis area. During the academic year, the young ladies participate in monthly workshops, which are led by the Links and/or invited presenters. They also lead community-oriented events such as the upcoming voter’s registration drive.
Harris believes it is important for the young women that will help host this event to be exposed to this part of the political process.
“I think by having the girls help us with the Get Out the Vote campaign, the girls can realize and know that they can have a voice in the political movement,” Harris said. “And the only way you can truly have a voice is to give up your time and give up your service and to make sure that you are exercising your right to vote.”
Harris said the young ladies, who will be tenth graders this fall, are very knowledgeable about the importance of voting. In addition to helping out with the voter registration drive, the girls will submit essays on why they think it’s important to vote.
The upcoming voter registration drive will be the first hosted by the Memphis chapter of the Links, and although Harris is unsure of what the turnout will be, she is confident about the potential impact it can leave.
“Personally, if we can get one person registered, I’ll be happy because it’s one more voter that can be a part of the political process,” Harris said.