Family Trunk or Treat event encourages voting
COLUMBIA - Parents, children and community activists gathered at Hickman High School on Saturday to educate and raise awareness about the upcoming Nov. election.
Timm Hudspeth, Cory Crosby and Brianna Lennon helped organize the event and are all working towards the goal of increased awareness and participation in politics.
"It's important that we have families here today, because a lot of kids do what they see their parents do so we want to instill in a lot of people those good habits," Crosby said. "Voting is something we need to do more and we need to have our kids growing up knowing how important it is."
Hudspeth said another reason they wanted to attract families to Hickman was to get them all voting and, although it is the first event of this nature, they do not see it as the last. He said it is also important that people share this information with others and encourage their friends to vote as well.
"We're looking at a ridiculously low number, like about nine to ten percent turnout in this upcoming election," Lennon said. "Every vote matters more. In smaller elections like these, one or two votes can be the difference."
It is especially important to vote in local elections and be politically involved on a small-scale community level, Lennon said. That is where the most change can be felt.
"It's a small election, so we're not expecting a huge increase in turnout, but we work for more engagement and awareness that these elections are coming up," Lennon said. "Anything that increases civic engagement is a win for us."
Boone County saw a 14 percent voter turnout during last election Aug. 8. and only represent the percentage of people who registered to vote. There are more who are eligible who do not register.
Hudspeth, Crosby and Lennon want to increase this number. They also want people to be aware of factors that affect their ability to vote, like the new photo ID law, and the effect a change in address has on voting location.
Transportation should not be an issue, Hudspeth said, because the city is offering free rides.
"A lot of people aren't even registered to vote, and they don't know that they can be a part of the community's political processes," Crosby said. "We want to take the initiative to help them be a part of these big decisions and let people know it does affect them."
He said he used to think it was difficult to vote; that it required many time-consuming steps and that in the long run it did not matter anyway.
Now, he feels differently.
"I never knew just how important my one vote was," Crosby said. "But I do now."
He talked about his experience growing up and how he became more politically aware.
"I grew up in this area, and I wasn't really aware and educated about voting-I didn't see a lot of people voting," Crosby said. "As I got older I understood that a lot of those decisions affected me. And not only that, but also that I played a role in those decisions."
On the Nov. 7 ballot is Boone County's Proposition U and Columbia's Proposition 1. Each would require vendors from out of state to pay a two percent tax, if passed. More information on the taxes and voting requirements can be found on Columbia City's website and Boone County's website.
"The more people we get to realize the power of their one vote, the more change we can do," Crosby said.