Promote the Vote!

By: Mike McDaniel
By: Mike McDaniel

They may not be able to vote, but they can write and draw. If you ask Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, they're a pretty good indicator of how Mississippi elections will shape up.

"Quite frankly I think they've only been wrong one time in the last fifteen years so they've pretty much picked every election," said Hosemann.

They're part of the Promote the Vote program, put on by the secretary of state's office to get young minds motivated and excited about voting. Monday morning, many of them even got awards for their work in showcasing the process.

"They do better than their parents sometimes. They actually read all the material about the candidates. They actually talk about the issues and discuss it between themselves. We find them to be very well educated," said Hosemann.

More than 120,000 students from all 82 counties cast their ballots last Fall. From the three voter initiatives to statewide races, Hosemann says their results were right on track with how Mississippi politics look now. One of those students was Meredith Arthur from Brandon Middle School who won first place for her essay on elections.

"It's not just casting your vote, it's really more taking a stand for what you believe in and your country," said Arthur.

Too often Hosemann says a stand is not taken, which was a main reason the program began in the first place. Hosemann says voting in Mississippi has decreased with only about a third of folks showing up at the polls.

By getting students like Meredith involved, the hope is to show voting isn't just a responsibility.

"It's a privilege and we need to exercise that privilege and exercise the responsibility of voting each and every time," said Hosemann.

Promote the Vote will start up again this fall, with eyes on the presidential election.


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