Why do elections matter?

It’s that time again! Our rivers and our environment need you to get out and vote in the upcoming runoff election on June 21. I can’t tell you who to vote for – or even which party to vote for – but I can tell you that voting is very important to our mission of protecting the health of Alabama’s rivers and people. Voter turnout in Alabama is often low compared to other states and runoff elections are even lower. That means your vote can make even more of a difference in a runoff election, like this race in Auburn where the candidate won by ONE VOTE.

According to recent research from the Environmental Voter Project, far more non-voters list climate as their number one priority. In other words, people who care most about climate are not voting. The result is that when candidates poll consistent voters, they are not hearing that climate is a priority. We have to vote and we have to let our elected officials hear from those of us who put the environment first!

Why do these runoffs matter?  

Let’s take a look at the federal Senate and Congressional races — the most important law ever passed for protecting our waterways in this country was the Clean Water Act. It was overwhelmingly passed by both parties in congress 50 years ago. Educating yourself about the candidates and deciding which one will support what you care about is the key.

Another race that is important to water is the Public Service Commission. They have the power to make decisions over what kind of energy choices we get to have in Alabama. Did you know that more than 80% of our water withdrawals are for cooling fossil fuel and nuclear power plants? The PSC has two positions in runoff. To learn more about what the PSC does and why it matters, you can visit this page from our friends at Energy Alabama.

And don’t forget our state legislature! There are many runoffs throughout the state that will determine who gets to be in the general election in the positions that represent you and your communities most closely. Learn what the candidates stand for and get out and vote!

Here are some important dates and helpful ways to learn more about these races and the candidates running:

June 16 – Last day to apply for an absentee ballot

June 21 – Runoff election!


You are eligible to vote in a runoff for whatever party you voted for in the primary election or if you didn’t vote at all in the primary election. You cannot cross over and vote in a different party from what you voted for in the primary. More information can be found on the Secretary of State’s Website by clicking here.

Learn about candidates throughout the state by clicking here and by searching their campaign websites.


Water is Life,



Cindy Lowry