On Saturday, Sept. 22, #VoteThatJawn was hosted at the WHYY Commons from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. by Lorene Cary, political activist and founder of Safe Kids Stories. #VoteThatJawn is a nonpartisan, city-wide event aimed at increasing the numbers of youth voting in this year’s midterm elections. The event was particularly aimed at 18-21 year-olds who would be voting for the first time this November.
At the event, staff greeted all attendees at the front door and were distributing free #VoteThatJawn hats and posters designed by local students. There were countless stations throughout the event where attendees were encouraged to register to vote. The day consisted of several inspirational speakers, and even Mayor Jim Kenney stopped by to address the crowd. A key part of the event was to have teams strategize ways to get young people to the polls on election day. My friends and I decided it would be beneficial to us and our community to take part in the team event. Within my group, we came up with ideas involving initiatives with free items, since college-age students are often motivated by free things. The winning group that gets the most people to the polls on Nov., 6 will win a $1,000 prize and an invitation to the follow-up #VoteThatJawn event at City Hall after election day.
After teams wrapped up, the musical guests MG and Ma’tthue Rahee came out to pump up the crowd and ask the teams about their ideas. Afterwards, the duo performed their wrap “Vote Dat Jawn.” The tune was so catchy that my friends and I still have it stuck in our heads. The event came to a close after few parting words from Lorene Cary. During her closing remarks, she announced there will be an after party for everyone after the election. Overall, attendees learned about a variety of ways that they can get involved and educated so they can #VoteThatJawn on Nov., 6.