SHOSHONE COUNTY — The local high schools are making sure that they instill a sense of civic responsibility next week by making special concessions for voting aged students.
According to civicyouth.org, in 2016, a reported half of the eligible youth voters (aged 18-29) did not vote, making them the largest demographic of non-voters.
That age group makes up 31 percent of the eligible voting population, meaning that 15.5 percent of the biggest demographic simply didn’t vote.
Many of the reasons behind not voting were valid, but avoidable, things like no identification, no transportation, etc…, but one of the main issues was that they had school.
The local schools took notice of this and have made special arrangements for their voting-aged students so that Shoshone County won’t be part of that statistic this year.
“I think it’s important for our young people to vote so that they have a say in what’s going in our country, our state and our local governments,” Wallace Jr./Sr. High School principal Chris Lund said. “When we look at the records and how many young people aged 18 to 25 vote and it’s the lowest percentage in the country. If all of those young people went and voted, then they would have a real say in what happens in our government. It’s important for those kids to get out and vote, and represent themselves in a good way and make sure they have good impact on our community.”
Mullan High School principal Don Kotschevar looks at the idea as part of his and his staff’s responsibility to educate the students on the importance of voting.
“We live in a democratic society that is governed by the majority,” Kotschevar said. “It is our responsibility to teach the students how to vote.”
Wallace High School is allowing their voting aged students to be late for first hour with an excused tardy if they vote and can show their “I Voted” sticker as proof.
Kellogg High School will also make this exception for eligible voters with a 10 a.m. cutoff time as well as a “I Voted” sticker.
In Mullan, Kotschevar has organized a field trip of sorts for his government class and their voting-aged students to get to the polls and cast their votes.
Idaho allows voters to register at the polls on Election Day.
Voters will need to bring proof of ID with a photo and proof of Idaho residency, or they can register online at idahovotes.gov/OnlineVoterRegistration.
The polls will be open on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 6) from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. at the following designated polling places:
Prichard/Murray — Murray Road Shop
Mullan — Mullan City Hall
Wallace — Wallace Congregational Church
Silverton — Silverwood Good Samaritan
Osburn — Osburn VFW Hall
Kellogg — Silver Valley Memorial Hall
Smelterville — Smelterville Lions Club
Pinehurst — Pinehurst Lions Club
Kingston/Cataldo — Kingston/Cataldo Sewer District Office