Casey

Archived Story

Graduates are first-time voters

Published 10:10am Tuesday, May 7, 2013

One of the most rewarding aspects of being Secretary of State is traveling around Ohio to meet with high school students as part of my Grads Vote program.

Through Grads Vote, we provide high school seniors with information about registering to vote for the first time and work to instill in them the importance of being active participants in our democracy.

This year, the Grads Vote program holds special meaning for me as my son Alex, is turning 18 and graduating from high school. Like all graduates, Alex has already faced many important decisions about his future, such as when he wisely chose to attend college where his dad went – the University of Dayton.

In addition, one of the most important decision Ohio’s high school seniors will make is when they choose to register to vote and have a voice in deciding the issues that impact their lives.

Statistically speaking, registering to vote isn’t a priority for most 18- year-olds, but it should be.

When visiting high schools I talk to students about the 26th Amendment, which lowered the voting age to 18, as well as the circumstances prompting its ratification in 1971. The Vietnam War was underway and although 18-year-olds could not vote, they were drafted to serve in the military.

The 26th Amendment enfranchised 11.4 million 18- to 20-year-olds who wanted to have a say in our democracy and on issues that were impacting their lives. Forty years later, the right to vote at 18 is a given, but how it became a right is often forgotten.

Grads Vote tries to change that.

If young adults want their voices heard, voting is the way we express ourselves in a democracy. While they may not have to worry about being drafted into war today, issues like the national debt, and how America confronts it will impact their lives and the lives of their families.

For more information on how to register to vote as well as upcoming election information please visit my website: www.GradsVoteOhio.com.

As I have visited with thousands of high school students around Ohio, I have great confidence they will rise to the occasion as our future leaders; but we can help them prepare to meet this challenge.

I encourage all parents, friends and family of graduating seniors this year to take the time to explain the importance of exercising their right to vote and making it a priority for life.

 

Jon Husted is Ohio’s 53rd Secretary of State.

The Tribune believes it is possible for people with a variety of points of view to discuss issues in a civil manner and will remove comments that, in our opinion, foster incivility. We want to encourage an open exchange of information and ideas. Responsibility for what is posted or contributed to this site is the sole responsibility of each user. By contributing to this website, you agree not to post any defamatory, abusive, harassing, obscene, sexual, threatening or illegal material, or any other material that infringes on the ability of others to enjoy this site, or that infringes on the rights of others. Any user who feels that a contribution to this website is a violation of these terms of use is encouraged to email report-comments@irontontribune.com, or click the "report comment" link that is on all comments. We reserve the right to remove messages that violate these terms of use and we will make every effort to do so — within a reasonable time frame — if we determine that removal is necessary.

Editor's Picks

Tackling addiction

Spectrum Outreach plans recovery housing for addicts   The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services on Nov. 10 announced a $10 million investment ... Read more

Mrs. Ohio All-Star makes impact

SOUTH POINT — Angela McKeone, of South Point, is one of a kind. She recently won the title of Mrs. Ohio All-Star. “I recognized when ... Read more

Some RH teachers will have access to guns

PEDRO — Rock Hill Schools Superintendent Wes Hairston admits it wasn’t one of the easier or more popular choices he has made. “It was a ... Read more

Making his dreams a reality

Mickey Fisher speaks to Ironton High School   His message was simple: Before he was an actor, a filmmaker or a big-time Hollywood screenwriter, Mickey ... Read more