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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

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Day two of David Pecker testimony wraps in NY Trump trial; Supreme Court hears arguments on Idaho's near-total abortion ban; ND sees a flurry of campaigning among Native candidates; and NH lags behind other states in restricting firearms at polling sites.

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The Senate moves forward with a foreign aid package. A North Carolina judge overturns an aged law penalizing released felons. And child protection groups call a Texas immigration policy traumatic for kids.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

Democracy Trailblazers ignite enthusiasm among teen voters

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Monday, March 4, 2024   

Most teenagers eagerly anticipate turning 16 to start driving and 21 for other milestones, but the significance of obtaining the right to vote at 18 often goes unnoticed.

One organization is taking action to change the perception and ignite enthusiasm among teens for voting and the electoral process.

Sharon McClure, founder of the grassroots group Democracy Trailblazers, has collaborated with schools in the Birmingham and Jefferson County area to register eligible students, marking just the beginning of their efforts.

"Our goal is not just to register the kids," McClure explained. "We want to activate them also and so we're going to be calling all the 18-year-olds, that's in our database, for the election coming up on Tuesday, just reminding them that there's an election, making sure they know what the polling places are."

To emphasize the importance of the voting process, the group also conducts mock elections to display the power of individual votes and highlights the consequences of not participating. McClure believes another key aspect of their work lies in educating young people about the historical significance of casting their ballots.

Alabama has more than 455,000 inactive eligible voters among a total eligible population of nearly 3.6 million.

According to McClure, their greatest challenge lies in engaging and sparking initial interest in young voters. However, she stressed by meeting them where they are and educating them about the potential for change on things like the environment, laws and local leaders, they have managed to overcome the hurdle.

"Everything that's on a table (they) could vote for is talking about education," McClure outlined. "Getting the right people in, and minimum wage. "

Looking ahead, Democracy Trailblazers plans to establish an ambassador peer program, enlisting a junior representative from each high school. This program would foster continuous engagement, updating students on voting-related matters. While initially focused on Jefferson County and Birmingham, the organization aspires to expand across Alabama's schools.


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