Skate to the Polls event draws a young voters crowd

Jack and Jill’s President and H-F senior Jared Rouse, in the blue cap, skates with friends at the That’s How We Roll: Skate to the Polls event.
(Nuha Abdessalam/H-F Chronicle)

Tinley Park Roller Rink provided music, skates, and energy for community teens to enjoy while voicing and exercising their power to vote at a Skate to the Polls young voters registration drive.

As of Jan. 1, Illinois allows 16-year-olds to pre-register to vote in future elections. When they are 18, they will be able to exercise their civic duty. Teens who joined the event brought their driver’s license, and other ID’s to register to vote. 

League of Women Voters of Homewood-Flossmoor assisted in orchestrating the event with organizations South Suburban Chicago Chapter Of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., and the National Coalition of 100 Black Women (NCBW). 

Homewood-Flossmoor High School senior Jared Rouse, South Suburban’s Jack and Jill president, said the registration drive was essential to the organization’s mission.


“Our goal is to start the conversation and to strive and help the community,” Rouse said. Skate to the Polls is one of the organization’s community service events.

“This is a critical year for not only our community but our nation. I’m so excited another legislative activity is happening, and community teen members are coming out and understanding the importance of voting and forming our own political opinions.”

H-F senior Mysean Doby, was one of many teens who had just begun to explore government policies and the power of her vote.

“It’s a responsibility that my mom has always spoken of, and I’m glad I’m taking the step in registering in time to vote on for upcoming elections,” Doby said. 

Doby’s mother, Connie Taylor, didn’t hesitate in bringing her daughter to the event, saying, “It’s a fun way to rally the kids to get them excited and get them interested in voting. Learning the power that goes into a vote is a responsibility.” 

Flossmoor resident and NCBW Director of Public Policy and Advocacy Karimiah McKee was thrilled with the turnout of teens, “It’s fantastic seeing our teens, our future decision makers, understand the importance of their votes and voices.” 

Monica Gordon, 5th District Cook County Commissioner, joined the party to show her support for community teens.

“I want them to get energized by every aspect of democracy: how important it is to vote, how people have laid their lives on the line and died for them to vote, and how much they can influence the process by organizing and taking part in the process,” Gordon said. 

In encouraging the voting process, Gordon added, “My goal is to inspire and energize these teens to be consistent voters and to understand why––this is when teens are learning why it is important to vote, and it’s a great age to grab that interest and stay consistent.”

Griffin said, “It starts with a conversation, but also letting students know they do have a voice and voting and these elections will affect them.They must understand they are essential in the voting process.”

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