March 23, 2010
CONTACT INFORMATION: Terri McCoy, 465-2564
Secretary McCulloch Visits Laurel High School to
Teach Students Importance of Voting
Outreach Includes Voter Registration & History of Montana Election Laws
LAUREL – Secretary of State Linda McCulloch spent Tuesday discussing the importance of voting with students at Laurel High School. Age-appropriate seniors went home with voter registration cards and were encouraged to register and to vote in the Federal Primary Election which falls on June 8.
“The power of being 18 years old is extraordinary,” McCulloch told Mr. Lee Deming’s Honors Civics classes. “Eighteen-year-olds have the right and the responsibility to participate in government by voting in elections. It’s an important responsibility, and yet less than half of your peers voted during the last general election.”
Forty-nine percent of the nation’s 18 to 21 year-olds voted in the 2008 General Election. The number is up from previous years, but falls short of the record 55% that voted in the 1972 presidential election.
McCulloch reminded students that in March 1971, the U.S. Congress approved the 26 th Constitutional Amendment making 18-years-old the legal voting age nationwide. Montana soon ratified the amendment, and for the first time, young Montanans were granted the right to vote in all elections.
“We should all take the time to reflect on this important moment in Montana history,” McCulloch said. “As we celebrate the anniversary of this historic event, I encourage everyone, including 18 - 21 year-olds, to register and to vote on Election Day.”
During her visit at Laurel High School, McCulloch spoke to multiple classes and was interviewed by journalism students. The students plan to write papers regarding civic education, the 26 th Amendment and the importance of voting in local, state and federal elections.
The deadline for regular registration is 30 days before any election. Those who miss the deadline can register to vote in the election by late registering at the county election office up through the close of polls on Election Day.
For more information regarding elections and voting in Montana, visit the Secretary of State’s website at sos.mt.gov/Elections.