Students will take places at polls Nov. 2

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, October 26, 2004

County students attending a poll workers’ training sessionMonday night said they were excited about the prospect of helpingthem in the general election Nov. 2.

The students are participating in a program sponsored by thesecretary of state’s office, state Department of Education,Mississippi Counselor’s Association and the Public EducationFoundation to promote voting among young people by making them morefamiliar with the voting process.

District One Election Commissioner John Hightower said twostudents would be placed at each of the county’s 32 votingprecincts. Students will work in shifts to ensure each student hasan opportunity to participate.

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Volunteers for the program had to receive their parents’permission, be recommended by their school and district, and beapproved by the secretary of state’s office. Even though studentsparticipating will miss a day of school, it will not count as alost day because of the educational potential, Hightower said.

Most of the students participating this year are from BrookhavenHigh School. The program was open to juniors and seniors.

Students Monday said they were thankful for the chance toparticipate in an event as important as a presidentialelection.

“I think it’s a plus that we’ve had this opportunity because Ithink it gives us a good chance to be involved in politics,” saidAkira Dixon. “I want our young voters to get out and vote.”

Miosha Daniels agreed.

“I hope it will be fun,” she said. “I’m just hoping more youngpeople will come out and vote. It’s important because even thoughour votes don’t count directly, they influence the electoral vote.And those votes count.”

Many of the Brookhaven High School students participating aremembers of Dorothy Henderson’s U.S. Government class and creditedthe teacher with inspiring them to participate.

“Miss Henderson inspired an interest in government this year,”said Rebecca Campbell. “I really wasn’t interested in politicsbefore that class. We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her.”

Trenice Sartin felt the same way.

“Since I’ve been taking government this semester, I have becomevery interested in the political process,” she said.

Isabel Raimer predicted a good turnout next Tuesday because ofthe presidential election and said she looked forward to learningfirsthand about how voting precincts are organized and the votingprocess.