Students help citizens get to know their candidates

Written by: Hannah Akers/Managing Editor, Kristiana Lulgjuraj/Feature Editor, and Olivia Biddle/News Editor

People going into the ballot box during election day don’t always know who or what they are voting for, but the people of Hancock County will soon not have to deal with that problem. At 2 p.m. on April 29, New Palestine High School will be hosting Hancock County Meets the Candidates, an event to help the voters of Hancock County learn about their candidates and get information from them about their views.

“We have been working since last fall to put this together. We have organized Hancock County Meets the Candidates, a forum and meet-and-greet for county politicians and constituents,” senior Alex Mohr said. He and fellow senior Ethan Fairbanks have been working to put this event together.

“We’ve worked with Dr. Lisa Lantrip, school administrators, and the clerk of Hancock County, and recently we’ve been in contact with numerous political organizations within the county,” Mohr said. “We’ve spoken with the League of Women Voters, Hancock County Republicans, the Democratic Party of Hancock County, the Libertarian Party of Hancock County, and the Young Republicans of Hancock County.”

The event is open to all citizens of Hancock County.

“There will also be a voter registration drive before and after the event,” Mohr said. “The League of Women Voters of Hancock County has agreed to help us with that, and we are appreciative of their support.”

Fairbanks is in Jeremy Large’s advanced business management class, where each student takes on a project. That gave him the opportunity to do an event like this.

“Alex and I wanted to do something or a long time in politics and getting involved. Mr. Large’s class gave me the opportunity to do things I wanted to do. It gave me time to pursue this project in school. Outside of school, I’m busy and wouldn’t have had time, but this class gave me the time to do it,” Fairbanks said.

Fairbanks’ goal is to make sure that the people of Hancock County know their candidates and to increase voter engagement.

“They can apply a face to the name. They’ll be able to know them better and it’s not just name x is running for x position,” Fairbanks said.

Fairbanks and Mohr believe that by knowing their candidates, citizens will be more likely to vote.

“Our goal is to promote voter engagement, and we hope this event does just that,” Mohr said. “This was designed to give candidates and equal platform so constituents can get to know them.”

For the event itself, they have invited plenty of candidates running for many different positions to come talk to the people.

“We have invited candidates running in the primary election in May, so U.S. representatives, circuit court judge, clerk of circuit court, county assessor, county auditor, county prosecutor, county recorder, county sheriff, county surveyor and township trustees,” Mohr said.

Of the people they invited, Jonathon Lamb, who is running for U.S. Representative;  Don Munden, who is running for sheriff and D.J. Davis, who is running for judge, are confirmed to be on the ever-growing list of attendees.

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Student organizers Ethan Fairbanks and Alex Mohr stand. Photo by Hannah Akers.

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