Last week I received a copy of the Annual Report released by the Mississippi Secretary of State's office which is the five-year plan (2015-2019) for Mississippi. The report explains the personalized plans for carrying out the priorities of the agency covering the eight divisions of the Secretary of State's office, which was first established in our State's Constitution in 1817.
In the report, it struck me as essential to the betterment of the youth of this state that a comprehensive voter education project sponsored by the Secretary of State's Office known as Promote the Vote Mississippi was included in the plan.
Through the program this state is working hard to make our students more involved in civic responsibility. Promote the Vote is where students study the importance of government and being involved by exercising the right to vote.
This project includes a statewide mock election and a complete voter education curriculum, which is developed in cooperation with the Mississippi Department of Education. It provides a curriculum on the responsibilities of voting and the importance of the political process.
The program's inception was in 1996 when Eric Clark was the state's chief elections officer and is continuing to grow as a vital education program under current Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann.
According to the report more than 210, 000 students in Mississippi participated in Promote the Vote in 2012, which was during the last presidential election year. The voter education curriculum plays an essential part in the young lives of Mississippians and will help deter voter apathy among young adults.
The state has done a great service for the students of Mississippi with this project, which has a high rate of student participation. This program stresses the importance of registering to vote along with exercising the right to vote, and that is essential at the high school level.
As we celebrate Independence Day the week after the most competitive statewide race for the U.S. Senate in recent memory, we can take great satisfaction not only to live in a nation where we can freely exercise our right to vote; but through the office of Secretary of State there is an essential program to empower the students of this state. The importance of civic responsibility from the classroom is something that everyone can be proud of as Mississippians.
Ken Strachan is former mayor of North Carrollton and serves as Carroll County coroner.