Archive for Wednesday, September 4, 2002

Programs join in effort to increase voter turnout

September 4, 2002


— They may be too young to vote, but that doesn't mean students won't be involved in this year's elections.

A nationwide group has begun a campaign called Freedom's Answer, which will use students to convince their parents and other adults that voting is a patriotic act, particularly in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Lawrence students to participateStudents in Lawrence schools this fall again will participate in the Kids Voting program.Since 1992, the Journal-World has sponsored the program.

The goal is to generate the largest voter turnout ever for a nonpresidential election.

"I can think of nothing that would speak greater to the world that we are a nation of justice and freedom," said Millie Aulbur, the Missouri coordinator for Freedom's Answer.

Freedom's Answer is joining with Kids Voting USA to launch the voter awareness campaign.

"Young people can be very encouraging," said Kristin Grdinovac, a senior at Piper High School in Kansas City, Kan. "We can put a lot of energy into things."

High school students plan to take the message to their own homes and neighborhoods, as well as work Friday night football crowds. They'll also to get middle and elementary school students involved.

The Kids Voting program relies not only on schools, but on community volunteers to run special voting booths set up for children at the regular election sites where adults vote.

To set the record, voters will have to top the turnout of 75.1 million in 1994, the current record for a nonpresidential election. In 1998, the last non-presidential election, 73.1 million Americans voted.

A total of 105.6 million people voted in 2000 when George W. Bush edged Al Gore.

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