AL group slogan aims to push people to vote

Updated: Nov. 4, 2017 at 7:15 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The special election for one of Alabama's U.S. Senate seats is just more than a month away, and one group is already looking for ways to increase voter turnout.

Vote or Die is a group in Alabama that was featured at the Alabama New South Coalition's fall convention on Saturday morning.

The campaign "Vote or Die" began just six weeks ago, shortly after the Alabama Senate Primary Election, where voter turnout was low.

According to the Alabama Secretary of State's office, there was only a 15 percent turnout at that election.

Faya Toure, the co-founder of Vote or Die, said she created the campaign as a way to encourage people to vote.

"'Vote or Die' is a campaign to heighten the awareness of people who have ordinarily given up on voting. They just believe that no matter what happens, their lives are not going to change." said Toure. "So it's to create a movement-type atmosphere to provide information on the policies that will result in their lives getting better or worse."

She said she believes the reason people don't vote is because they don't think their vote counts, but that that's not the case.

"Even though you are on welfare, or an ex-felon whose rights have been restored, your vote is just as powerful as the richest man in this country… if you use it," she said.

Toure said there are many things that will die if the public doesn't vote, like college grants and loans, an increased minimum wage, and decent housing and food programs.

Annie Pearl Avery was in the audience on Saturday. She attempted to march from Selma to Montgomery on what is now known as "Bloody Sunday," but she didn't make it. She was arrested and taken to jail. Now, roughly 50 years later, she is encouraging others to use their right to vote, a right she had to fight for.

"I didn't just march, I risked my life," said Avery. "Everything you do, even living in your house, has something to do with who's elected in your area."

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