Jackson Public Schools has released a video appealing to voters ahead of the Mississippi statewide elections today.
“JPS wants every citizen in Jackson to know about the importance of voting on November 7, 2023. Every vote counts, and every voice matters,” JPS Executive Director of Public Engagement Sherwin Johnson said in a district press release. “JPS families are asked to share this message with their friends, family and neighbors.”
The video features Hinds County Sheriff Tyree Jones, Hinds County Circuit Clerk Zack Wallace and JPS Superintendent Errick Greene. In it, students urge citizens to create change in the community through voting and ask viewers to “be my vote.”
“It is important for us as educators to help our scholars have a broad array of experiences that help them understand what’s going on in the world,” Greene said in the video.
Jones reminded parents that they still have time to exercise their civic duty and urged parents to take students to the polls to witness the voting process.
“When you go to the polls to cast your vote, take your children with you and let them experience what it’s like to view a ballot and to see you as a parent fill out the candidate of your choice,” he said in the video.
|Hinds County Sheriff Tyree Jones, Hinds County Circuit Clerk Zack Wallace and JPS Superintendent Errick Greene urged citizens to vote in an ad Jackson Public Schools released on Oct. 23, 2023.|
A recent study the Sandra Day O’Connor Institute for American Democracy conducted found that children whose mothers voted in the previous presidential election were 20.3% more likely to vote in their first election. An earlier study found that this trend is particularly true late in childhood. M. Kent Jennings, Laura Stoker and Jake Bowers found that children seeing their parents vote was the key to teaching the idea of voting as a responsibility to children who are near the age to begin voting themselves.
Parents are permitted to bring minor children to the polls. Rankin County Circuit Clerk officials said children in attendance must follow the same guidelines as adults. Those guidelines include not being disruptive to other voters and not campaigning inside the polling place or anywhere within 150 feet of any entrance to the polling place.
“You cannot come in a precinct with any candidate’s information on your shirt, your hat, or stickers,” Rankin County Deputy Clerk Kim Jamison said. “You can’t advertise for someone running for office.”
Jamison said that they encourage parents to bring children with them to the polls because it helps encourage civic participation at an early age.
“It’s very educational for parents to take their children in so they can kind of show them and get them familiar with the voting system,” she said.
Read more of the Mississippi Free Press’ 2023 elections coverage.