Group Hopes If NKY Kids Vote Early, They'll Vote Often

Oct 30, 2019

The Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce has started a campaign to increase voter turnout. The new "My Vote Counts" effort is in reaction to the region having some of the lowest participation in the state. But another program has been trying to make voting a habit for 19 years.

Cathy Stavros with Kids Voting Northern Kentucky says their non-partisan organization takes ballots for children to official polling places, with the idea parents will bring their kids along.

"We're hoping that that encourages the kids to vote. But when we talk to some kids and parents they tell us it's the kids that tell them 'We have to go vote so that the kids can vote.' So however we can get the adults there, we want to do that."

She says when parents don't vote, kids are less likely to. "It does mirror in some ways. But we try to reach out more by going into the schools beforehand and have the teachers encourage voting so we're not just relying on polling places on those years, too."

She says the program is in 52 Campbell County polling places, 58 polling places and three libraries in Kenton County, and for the first time, in 18 polling places in Boone County, along with schools and libraries. "We will go anywhere people will let us take our Kids Voting ballots and get the young children to vote."

Stavros says about 11,000 students voted in the last presidential election, and another 300 volunteered as poll workers and election officials.

For next Tuesday's election, Kentucky kids will vote for governor and lieutenant governor, attorney general and secretary of state. They'll also be asked about military service, school safety and vaping.

Election day is next Tuesday, Nov. 5. Kids Vote results will be released that night.