Why Ohio’s 2016 primary could matter more than in most years

Secretary of State Husted came to Lordstown Thursday to talk to high schoolers about the importance of voting.

lordstown ohio democracy day ohio secretary of state jon husted
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted speaks to an auditorium full of students in Lordstown, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016.

LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – With primary elections rapidly approaching, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted is touring the Buckeye State, encouraging people to register. One of his biggest goals is to get the younger population to vote.

It’s been 45 years since the 26th amendment allowing 18 year olds the right to vote passed.

With about a quarter of America’s millennials registered to vote today, Secretary of State Jon Husted has made it a goal to get young Ohioans voting this election.

“They have an opportunity to make their voice heard. They have a responsibility to do that because freedom and responsibility go hand in hand and they have to participate in that,” Husted said. “It’s up to every generation to make American democracy a little better.”

Lordstown High School held their Democracy Day event Thursday, with students coming from several different high schools to participate.

There, Secretary Husted spoke about the history of America’s voting rights to teach the students that their voice counts, too.

Student Monica Holliday told me she believes Secretary Husted’s message will resonate with the students who are eligible to register.

“He taught us that other people tried so hard to get that, registering to vote, and being able to have an education and everything, so it just reinforces that it’s so important,” Holliday said.

February 16 is the deadline for registering to vote in Ohio’s 2016 primary election, which will take place March 15. If you want to see if you’re registered to vote, both Ohio and Pennsylvania have online databases to check.

“What will happen on March 15 in Ohio really depends on what happens in New Hampshire, South Carolina, all the other states leading up to the March primary,” Husted said. “If it’s undecided on march 15, Ohio really could decide who the nominee is for the Democrats and the Republicans.”

Early voting for the March primaries begins February 17th in Ohio.

Secretary Husted said that with nearly a month to vote, everyone registered can participate, whether it be through mail-in ballots or during the 13 hours of voting time on election day.

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