By JD LONG
CADIZ – Never underestimate the will or power, of the “younger generation.” That is one lesson to say to people who feel the youth don’t get involved in things that really matter. But for a small group of Harrison Central High School seniors, they are getting involved.
George Novotny, Michael McGill, and Hunter Van Curen are just three Harrison seniors who have chosen something to stand by and then follow through with the plan. The class is called Service Learning, which is required for all seniors and run by their teacher, Samantha McIntosh. Though all in the class for the most part can choose any subject they want, these three chose the area of voting, or better yet, the lack of it, especially during the mid-term elections. What caught Novotny’s attention was the fact that non-presidential elections are historically low in voter turnout and he wanted to do something about it. He called it everyone’s “civic duty.” He said McIntosh suggested a type of vote-march and Novotny went about figuring out how to get it down for the first day of early voting.
Some statistics noted by Novotny were in 2016, 71 percent voted versus 29 percent who did not. But in 2017, just 35 percent of eligible voters voted as the trend was nearly reversed. Novotny said he felt that a walk like this would help bring the community together and to “foster good community value.” They want all who participate in having a good time and hopefully realize the importance of working together in getting as many people to vote as possible.
Novotny, again speaking for the group, said they are working on reaching people through social media, as well. Novotny said the group, whoever wants to participate, old and young and bipartisan, will walk from the courthouse to the BMV building in Cadiz, which is also a bit of a hike. All will walk in single file with volunteers stationed along the way to notify traffic, especially around those few tight corners. The group has cleared the walk with the proper authorities and the Board of Elections (BOE) to make sure there would be no violations. The guys said they have been working on the project for at least a good month. “Literally every morning,” McGill said with a bit of exasperation.
The march has been approved by Mayor Ken Zitko and Village Administrator Charley Bowman and as noted, the BOE has given a thumbs up regarding the legality of the march. The walk is scheduled for Oct. 27, which is the first day of early voting and it is scheduled to last from 9 to 11 a.m. Also, rides will be available back to the courthouse if one chooses. For questions, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.