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Students Learn About Voting
The League of Women Voters has been visiting area high schools
The League of Women Voters stopped by Kalamazoo high schools the past few days to share the basics of ballots with students.
The LWV is a nonpartisan group that promotes voting, policy study, and political education and advocacy. They visited with students as part of a two-part election series being held at Kalamazoo Central, Loy Norrix, and Phoenix high schools and the Young Adult Program. The first visits, which have been conducted the past few days, were to explain the voting process and to register voters who will be 18 before the Nov. 8 election.
The second visits will be held Oct. 18, when students will be able to participate in a mock election, where they will use realistic ballots and actual ballot boxes.
Jennie Hill and Chris Kuthe of the League of Women Voters went over the importance of voting. Hill started with, “Without your vote, your voice will not be heard.” Other reasons to vote were that it is key to the operation of a democracy, it helps effect change and helps create change.
Students who will be 18 by Nov. 8, were encouraged to register to vote after the program today, which is the last day to register to vote in Michigan. To register they simply had to be U.S. citizens, be 18 by election day and be residents of Michigan.
Hill and Kuthe said that before the mock election — and any election — voters should educate themselves on the candidates and the issues. They urged them to look at nonpartisan election sites such as vote411.org and factcheck.org, and also said they could visit partisan information sites such as the candidates own websites.
The two also took some time to bust some common election myths saying:
• You do not have to vote for every office or proposal on a ballot (although noting that for the first time in 40 years, this year’s ballot will have no proposals on it).
• You can ask for a new ballot if you make a mistake or tear a ballot. Simply as a poll worker for a new ballot.
• You don’t have to vote in every election to be eligible to vote.
• Jury lists are not generated from lists of reported voters.
• You can still vote even if you have previously served time in jail or prison.
Cutline: Jennie Hill with the League of Women Voters films an interview with Public Media Network about the League's efforts to educate young people about the voting process.