Importance of voting stressed to youth

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, May 13, 2014

By Monique Roth

EDGARD — Area students learned exactly why voting is important, how to register to vote and other election-related topics when the 40th Judicial Court presented Law Day 2014 to St. John the Baptist Parish students.

Held Friday in the Edgard courthouse, students heard “Why Every Vote Counts,” this year’s Law Day theme, and winners were announced from the annual Law Day essay contest.

Louisiana Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Jude Gravois, St. John Parish President Natalie Robottom, Superintendent Kevin George, Judge Sterling Snowdy, Judge Madeline Jasmine, Judge Mary H. Becnel and Rita Jarrow, St. John Parish registrar of voters, explained the election process to the students and talked about voting requirements, the process to get registered and the importance of making their voice heard on election days.

The day also involved some fun, with Raffeal Neal, a juvenile officer with Division B, leading students in a round of Civics Jeopardy.

Law Day 2014 also included an awards ceremony to recognize students’ outstanding efforts on composing essays about why voting matters.

Winners in the middle school division were Corey Samuel, first place; Alyasia Cook, second place; Rodney Blanks, third place; and Lorey Martin, honorable mention.

High school winners were Halie Ann Englade, first place; Ariel Mitchell, second place; Braxton Duhon, third place; and Briana Grayman, honorable mention.

Schools participating in Law Day were Lake Pontchartrain Elementary, East St. John Elementary, LaPlace Elementary, John L. Ory, Fifth Ward Elementary, Garyville/Mt. Airy Magnet, West St. John Elementary, West St. John High School. Riverside Academy and Our Lady of Grace. Law clerks Rachael Maurin and Nicole Babin helped to organize the event.