Arkansas ranked as the very worst state for voter participation in 2020, and Sen. Joyce Elliott is not having it. We can do so much better, and we will, she said.
“Arkansas has one of the lowest voter turnout rates in the country, and one of the highest apathy rates. That is not a problem that’s just going to take care of itself.”
So on Thursday, Elliott launched Get Loud, Arkansas, an organization to register and engage voters so they can show up to flex some power at the polls.
— Get Loud, Arkansas! (@GetLoudArkansas) December 2, 2021
Get Loud Arkansas is modeled on similar efforts in Arizona and Stacey Abram’s famous Fair Fight that took Georgia from a low voter turnout red state to a mostly blue state that voted for Biden and sent two Democrats to the Senate.
And while Elliott is boldly and proudly a progressive herself, Get Loud Arkansas will take all comers.
“The point of this is not to tell people how to vote or for whom to vote,” Elliott explained. “It’s just obvious in Arkansas, the numbers show we don’t have the bulk of our population taking part in civic engagement.”
Elliott represents parts of Little Rock and Pulaski County in the state Senate, but is term-limited and will be leaving office in 2022. After she and fellow Democrats were brutalized by the Republican supermajority’s anti-trans, pro-gun, pro-COVID agenda in the state legislature this year, one might forgive Elliott for picking up a piña colada and plopping down poolside to take a breather. Especially considering her hard-fought but unsuccessful bid to unseat Republican Rep. French Hill in 2020.
Elliott said she realized earlier this year, however, that her work is far from done. She plans for Get Loud Arkansas to be both expansive and longterm.
#NEWS: State Sen. Joyce Elliott (D) announces she’s created a nonprofit org. dedicated to engaging new voters in Arkansas.
— Andrew Epperson (@eppersports) December 2, 2021
“I decided during the legislative session that it is time that somebody take on this issue, rather than just talking about it and wringing our hands,” she said. “I am not willing to give up on this state, especially for the young people who deserve so much better than they’re getting now.”
Get Loud Arkansas already has a board and is registered as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Recruiting volunteers and raising money to hire organizers are next on the to-do list. She’s hoping for an influx of manpower and cash to get off to a strong start.
How quickly Get Loud Arkansas can ramp up depends on how many people jump on board, Elliott said. “We’ll be able to go as fast as people will help us go.”