Secretary Hosemann Promote the Vote at Meridian Schools

Meridian, Miss. {Meridian Star) –

In one room, there were juniors not quite old enough to vote, while in another room,  seniors who could cast a ballot in November sat patiently, listening to Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann.

Hosemann visited Meridian High School on Tuesday on his statewide “Promote the Vote” tour, encouraging young people to head to the polls.

“Everyone that runs the state is hired by you,” Hosemann said, reminding students of their civic responsibility.

Starting on Oct. 1, students in Mississippi schools will be able to vote in a mock election for U.S. Senate and House seats. The ballots will close on October 26.

Hosemann said the mock election will get young people into the habit of voting, because their ballots will be the same as the actual ballots used by their parents. He also hopes the process will open up a dialogue between teenagers and their parents.

“We want the them to discuss it around the kitchen table,” said Hosemann.

The program will also feature an art contest, in which students will be asked to draw a mural depicting Meridian. An essay contest, meanwhile, will ask students to describe how local businesses can connect with the school system. Hosemann said there will only three winners in the whole state. The winners earn $100, plus get a chance to go to Jackson for a ceremony in February.

Kendrick Brown, 17, a senior at MHS, will be able to vote in the upcoming elections. He considers voting his civic duty.

“We have an obligation to do that, and I feel like I’m going to make a change in my community,” said Brown.

Kavia Burrage, 17, also a senior, said she learned that everyone who can vote, should vote. She said that even though teenagers are young, their opinion still matters.

Teacher Vanessa Reed said young people play an important role in voting, and she makes sure to communicate that to her students. Reed said it’s not about what their parents or grandparents do, it’s about them. She also makes sure to teach her kids about minorities in government, including women.

“Once you vote, you have right to express your views,” said Reed.

Hosemann, referencing those who have fought for this country, said there’s no excuse for not voting.

“The obligation is to the men and women that have served and died for this country,” he said.

Original Source:  Meridian Star