• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Grimes explains value of voting

SECRETARY OF STATE Alison Lundergan Grimes spoke to fifth-graders about the importance of civic engagement and voting during her visit to Huntertown Elementary School last Thursday, March 17. (Photo by Bob Vlach)

When Alison Lundergan Grimes talked to fifth-graders during a visit to Huntertown Elementary School last Thursday afternoon, March 17, she asked them to tell her what responsibilities she has as Kentucky's Secretary of State. As the state's chief election official, the Secretary of State certifies election results, Grimes said. And when Grimes asked Huntertown students who decides who wins? They told her, "The people." While talking about the importance of civic engagement, Grimes reminded students that their voice has power to help make Kentucky a better place if they are involved. "There is a role for you to play," Grimes told students. She then called upon 10 fifth-graders to help her explain why everyone's vote matters. By inviting those students to the gym floor, Grimes helped their peers and teachers "see" what it really means when three out of 10 Kentucky residents do not register to vote and only two of those who register actually vote. She then asked, "Do you want other people deciding your future? "No," responded the students. Grimes has been friends with Huntertown's administrative dean, Allison George, since they were first-graders at Christ the King Elementary School in Lexington. Their 30-year friendship prompted Grimes to ask the fifth-graders to "look to the person to your left. Now, look to the person to your right and say, 'I'll see you be secretary of state one day.' Now, look to the person on the other side and say, 'I'll see you be an assistant principal one day.'" In an email, George explained why she invited Grimes to visit Huntertown. "I especially appreciate how she has taken an active role, reaching out across the state to promote civic education and the right to vote. "She has a unique ability to connect with young adults and get them interested in not only civics, but serving their community," George said.

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