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PNS Daily Newscast - September 24, 2020 


President Trump refuses to commit to a peaceful transfer of power post election; and COVID vaccine #4 needs volunteers.


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A new report highlights importance of keeping guns away from the polls; and Florida wants an investigation of a fund to help pay returning citizens' court fees and fines so they can vote.

Oregon Teens Get ‘Right to Vote,’ Too

September 3, 2008

Portland, OR – They may not be of legal voting age yet, but they'll have ballots in their hands by next month and they'll know what to do with them. Almost 200 Oregon middle and high schools have signed up to be part of a national mock election. It includes six weeks of lessons about voting and democracy. Then, in October, the students will cast their ballots.

Krista Horning is coordinating the "Help America Vote" project for the Oregon League of Women Voters. She says schools have to sign up this month to be part of the action.

"A democracy doesn't work unless everyone is using their voice. They have a right and a responsibility as part of this democracy, and I'm excited for them to understand what that looks like."

More than half a million Oregonians under age 30 are eligible to vote, but turnout among young voters is historically low. Schools can change that with programs like this, Horning says.

In addition to federal and state offices, Horning says Oregon teens will be voting on several state ballot measures that could affect school funding, from mandatory sentencing for drug-related crimes, to putting time limits on bilingual education. The results will be announced at the end of October, a few days before the real Election Day.

Horning says League members don't expect the kids to vote the same ways their parents would. They want the project to spark some serious discussions at home.

"Our hope is that parents talk about the issues with their children, and help equip them to become educated, informed voters. Then students can make their own decisions because, after all, it is their vote."

Schools can learn more about the program on the Oregon League of Women Voters' website, www.lwvor.org.

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - OR