SHERIDAN — Elections are serious business. They determine the future of our country and the direction in which our society will head. But, that doesn’t mean elections can’t include some fun.
That’s why The Sheridan Press hopes to bring a little fun to the 2016 election season with live music, yard games, food and drink vendors and more. At the same time, The Press will help folks register to vote in November.
In the last presidential election, just 25 percent of the voting age population in Wyoming cast ballots. Only 50 percent of the voting age population in Wyoming was even registered to vote.
The Sheridan Press hopes to move the dial on both of those statistics by hosting a Rock the Vote event Sept. 17 in Kendrick Park.
Rock the Vote is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that works to get youth to the polls. Since 1990, the organization has been registering voters and trying to demystify the process of voter registration and elections.
In Sheridan, the event will include voter registration opportunities. Those interested in registering just need to bring a form of photo identification, such as a driver’s license. They’ll have an opportunity to fill out a voter registration form and have it notarized on site.
In order to reach out to a younger crowd, the event will also focus on including some fun. Rock the Vote has been utilizing pop culture, music, art and technology to inspire political activity for decades.
The Sept. 17 event will do the same. A live band — The InstaGators — will perform; games such as bean bag toss, giant Jenga and others will be available to play; and food trucks and a beer vendor will be on site as well. A photo booth will also be on site for attendees to enjoy.
“The idea that our votes don’t count and therefore we needn’t bother to vote is a self-fulfilling downward spiral,” band member Melissa Butcher said. “The more we believe that to be true, the more we make it true through our apathy. Making a positive difference in our communities is something we (the InstaGators) believe in very deeply, and we believe voting is one of the most important ways can do that, especially at the local level.”
While attendees register to vote and enjoy Kendrick Park on a fall afternoon — the event will take place from 4-7 p.m. — candidates seeking election will be on site to mix and mingle with voters.
“There won’t be any formal speeches from candidates,” said Kristen Czaban, managing editor at The Sheridan Press. “But this will be an opportunity for them to chat with what we hope will be a large contingent of voters before the general election.”
While the general election will take place Nov. 8, early voting — or absentee voting — will begin Sept. 23, just after the Rock the Vote event.
For additional information on the event, contact Czaban at 672-2431 or firstname.lastname@example.org.