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League of Women Voters sends strong message to youth: Vote

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO Shelter Island High Shcool social studies students with Supervisor Gary Gerth at the annual State of the Town luncheon. Front row, from left, Mason Marcello, Luke Gilpin, Emily Strauss, Caitlin Binder, Lindsey Gallagher and social studies teacher Peter Miedema. Back row, from left, Darien Hunter, Jack Lang, Francesca Frasco, Madison Hallman, Isabella Sherman, Bianca Evangelista and Sarah Lewis.

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO Shelter Island High Shcool social studies students with Supervisor Gary Gerth at the annual State of the Town luncheon. Front row, from left, Mason Marcello, Luke Gilpin, Emily Strauss, Caitlin Binder, Lindsey Gallagher and social studies teacher Peter Miedema. Back row, from left, Darien Hunter, Jack Lang, Francesca Frasco, Madison Hallman, Isabella Sherman, Bianca Evangelista and Sarah Lewis.

Several traditions continued for the 11th year at the League of Women Voters of Shelter Island’s ‘State of the Town’ luncheon.

One of the most significant was inviting a group of high school seniors to hear the town supervisor give, in the words of League President Lois B. Morris, “a report card for the town.”

But Ms. Morris said the gathering at the Ram’s Head Inn was not just about local government and politics, but a chance to relay the message of the League.

“Voting works,” she said. “The more people who vote, the better democracy works.”

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO League of Women Voters of Shelter Island President Lois B. Morris at Sunday’s ‘State of the Town’ luncheon at the Ram’s Head Inn.

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO League of Women Voters of Shelter Island President Lois B. Morris at Sunday’s ‘State of the Town’ luncheon at the Ram’s Head Inn.

Noting that “it’s incredible to me that the vote message falls on so many deaf ears,” Ms. Morris presented some statistics on voting. In the 2016 national election, only 58 percent of registered voters showed up at the polls, with just 28 percent of New York state voters participating.

Shelter Island, however, showed it’s strong commitment to civic responsibility, Ms. Morris said, with 82 percent of registered voters casting ballots,

She acknowledged the 12 students of teacher Peter Miedema’s senior social studies class, asking if any of them had registered to vote in November. Several hands went up. Registration forms were at the post offices, Ms. Morris said, and “we’ll nag you to death.”

“Young people of this country are waking up to the power of civic involvement,” the League president said.

Turning to the students, she added, “You are the future of this democracy. And you are the future of this town. Vote.”

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