Zero votes at election central

Posted: Sunday, October 20, 2002

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The Kids Voting program

The Kids Voting program sponsors a student election and has a mission of educating local students about the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, helping to instill the habit of voting in young people, and generating higher adult voter turnout. In 2000, about 2,300 Juneau students, grades K-12, went to the polls and voted with their parents. Kids Voting involves local business, service groups and volunteers. Many teachers incorporate the Kids Voting civics lessons into their lesson plans. Along with going to the polls, students may participate in the Kids Voting media project where they learn about how print and broadcast media play a role in the election process. The Juneau Empire is a sponsor of KidsVoting and the Kids Voting media project. The following student-letters were written as part of the Kids Voting project and in response to the question: What would happen if no one voted? - Editor

It's Election Day and the candidates waited uneasily at Election Central for the results from the first district to ring in. Tensions were high, but were soon broken by the bizarre, almost taboo numbers that spilled out across the board; zero Murkowski, zero Kerttula.

Disappointment struck the air like a fine mist. The numbers were surprising, but not unexpected. The second and third districts results soon rolled in across the board. Once again; zero Mukowski, zero Kerttula.

This simple display of voter apathy at its extremes continued throughout the uneasy night, as zero upon zero rolled in on the screen. A re-vote could have been, no, should have been issued. The results, however, would be no different from before, for this was already the third re-vote.

In a world where every vote counts and all voices heard, can we really afford to not vote and say nothing? No. We must all play a part in our civilization whether agreed with or not - it's all we have and we can't just let that go along with everything else.

We must all recognize that we all have a voice, and that our voices are being heard. We all have an effect, both individually (which is a term very underrated these days) and as a unit. We must participate for the good of our nation, your nation, for in a nation under which you live, shouldn't you at least have a say in what we live for?

Kids Voting supports your right to vote, to have a say in what goes on, and to express yourself without discrimination. In fact we encourage it. You must know that your opinion matters, that your individual voice counts, and that people are willing to listen. For if the day comes when zero is the most common total on the Election Central board, who will we follow, and where will we go?

Alex Holloway, Grade 8

Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School

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