Elections Aren't Just for Adults

1 decade 10 months 2 weeks ago November 08, 2005 Nov 8, 2005 Tuesday, November 08 2005 Tuesday, November 08, 2005 4:49:57 PM CST in News

As far as November elections go, some Missourians may say this one isn't the most important.  But some young people would argue that even the smallest things can have a large impact. Though they're not yet 18, these kids are working to ensure their futures by becoming politically involved.

Casting a ballot, while it's the ultimate way to make sure your opinions count, people like Rachel Duker know it's not the only way.

"It's pretty great, it's like, 'I helped out, yay,' you know I actually counted, so that's cool," Duker said.

But lending a hand and standing up for what you believe in can be hard work.

"We went door-to-door, that was the first thing I did," Duker said.

"Every Thursday of the Twilight Festival we had a booth outside of the Democratic headquarters," political volunteer Meredith Cristal said.

"Or making phone calls," Grass Roots Organizer member Mika Schrimpf said.

"A lot of data entry," Duker said.

And these young people are finding out what all that hard work is for.

"I think a lot of kids these days are staring to realize that the things that happen in our general assembly and national affects them as well," Schrimpf said.

"It was more about having a voice and stating your opinion," Cristal said.

Young people understand the issues affecting them and people around them. And some say they want to find the best solutions possible.

"I think there are a lot of good ideas from both camps that should be put into motion and we should work together on," Duker said.

But politics aren't always easy.  Cristal said she and her friends are hesitant to start political groups at school.

"We're kind of afraid to just because of those conflicts and people being like, 'oh, I don't like you cause you like that,' or that kind of thing," Cristal said.

Schrimpf said part of being involved in politics should be learning how to express your opinions.

"I think it is good for kids to go out there and be active and involved, but also to realize that, you know which we have to do every day, that not everyone shares the same opinion as you and to be respectful of that," Schrimpf said.

But in the end, Duker recommends her peers look towards the bigger picture.

"You're controlling what's going to happen, and they're going to leave problems for us or leave an easier road, and if you help out now there will be less problems in the future," Duker says.

The political volunteer coordinators said there's a place for everyone, regardless of age, to make a difference. And making a difference can be public or private.  But regardless of how you do it, these ladies say it's important to raise your voices, because that's the only way they'll be heard.

Schrimpf recommends bringing your children with you to the polls to teach them the importance of voting.

 

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