OPINION: Educating Young Voters To Take Action
A Message from Matteson Mayor Sheila Chalmers-Currin
The act of voting is one of the most powerful privileges extended to citizens of a democracy. No individual is mandated to vote, but it is a responsibility I highly suggest you embrace, so your opinion can be counted in selecting leaders and representatives that will best serve you in the Southland Region.
As the Illinois primary election nears on March 17, it is important that we begin to educate younger adults on the power of their vote. According to an analysis of recent census data, the last presidential election proved to have the lowest turnout for youth votes. I attribute this to declining civics education. Educating, not just the community, but the youth and young adults will show a greater turnout. Students who are actively learning about constructing arguments, assessing current and historical events and executing moral reasoning show great increases in civic literacy.
To promote civic engagement, the Village of Matteson has taken the initiative to get as many eligible citizens registered to vote as possible. Our team goes out into the community and provides information on how their voice helps determine funding for villages and schools.
As the Village of Matteson Mayor, I am very passionate about the topic of voting. Selected by Obama’s Presidential Campaign as the coordinator of voter’s registration, I coordinated Upward Obama groups to register voters in the state of Indiana. After assisting other political figures in office, I began planning and organizing my own campaign for Trustee of the Village of Matteson and then Mayor of Matteson. I served in the role of Trustee for a total of eight years, and in 2017 I received the paramount leadership role, being elected Mayor of the Village of Matteson.
I have a personal understanding of the importance of the vote, and realize education is the assured way to increase motivation to turn out, so that election results better reflect the will of the people.
What can you do?
- Learn about prospective candidates
- Be knowledgeable about what’s going on in your community
- Write to officials about issues that are passionate to you
- Vote in the March 17 Illinois primary and all local, state and national elections
Join the Count!