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Oxford High School students visited by Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, discuss civic responsibility

Oxford High School students got a visit from the Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann on his campaign to promote a program that aims to teach students more about their home state and maybe earn them a little cash on the side.

Promote the Vote is a voter education project sponsored by Hosemann’s administration. According to the Secretary’s website, PTV looks to “teach the fundamentals of our democracy to K-12 students and encourages civic responsibility.”

Promote the Vote also features an art and essay contest with this year’s theme revolving around Mississippi’s Bicentennial Birthday. All grade levels are eligible to participate. Winning students will receive $100 for themselves and their school.

Hosemann has been championing PTV for the past 10 years after it was started by former Secretary of State Eric Clark 25 years ago.

“This year we didn’t have any election, so what we did was write the bicentennial history of Mississippi,” Hosemann said. “It took us three years to do it.”

Materials online (www.sos.ms.gov/ptv) have region-specific histories of the state, from pre-1817 to the present.

“What we’re doing in Oxford today is talking to young men and women about participating in a contest,” Hosemann further explained. “I thought it was really important that they look at their history. We’re asking them to dream: where do you want us to be? I think it’s important for them to dream and then it’s important for us to listen to what they say.”

Hosemann said he wants “adults to look at what the young men and women want Mississippi to be.”

“Your history is your history, but the future is at the ballot box,” the Secretary said. “That’s what we’ve been talking to them about. I want them to realize that that future is cast when you go cast a ballot.”