Secretary of State visits PHS to ‘Promote the Vote’

By NIKKI SMITH,

“No one can limit your possibilities except you.”

That was Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann’s message for 10th grade students at Petal High School when he visited Oct. 19.

Hosemann has been making trips to schools all over the state, visiting classrooms to talk to students about registering to vote, civic engagement and the Promote the Vote program. This year, the focus is on Mississippi’s history because there is no statewide election.

This is the first time he has taken this approach to PTV.

They have created a book called A Bicentennial History of Mississippi, in which they divided the state into nine regions, the Pine Belt being one. The goal was to create a resource for teachers and students as they learn about Mississippi’s 200-year history.

Students have been asked to submit art pieces and essays, which focus on their priorities for Mississippi’s future.

Petal High School was selected because a senior, Cody Dye, emailed Hosemann and said that he would like to meet him after discussing Hosemann and his job in their class.

“Entered the Promoted the Vote writing competition and have been talking about you for a while now, so I thought I’d reach out,” he said.

Dye told Hosemann that he plans to pursue a degree in engineering, as he is interested in math and science.

Hosemann asked Dye if he had any questions.

“Well, our class had one, are you going to run for Governor?” he asked.

Hosemann said that he will not run for Secretary of State again, but it is uncertain whether he will seek the Governor seat or not.

The Promote the Vote competition is split into two categories, visual arts and writing.

The visual arts category will focus on illustration. The theme for this category is “My Mississippi.” A winner will be selected from kindergarten through third grade, fourth through sixth, seventh through ninth and 10th through 12th.

The illustrations will focus on what impacts students the most in their region of the state. Students will illustrate this by designing artwork depicting their region of the state with a symbol, landmark, landscape, person, industry or other item or idea, as identified in A Bicentennial History of Mississippi provided by the Secretary of State’s Office.

Seventh through 12th grade students taking part in the writing category will submit an essay with the theme “Moving Forward.”

Students will write an essay with 500-words max, identifying what he or she considers to be one of the most important future issues facing the region they live in today by studying the history of their specific region in A Bicentennial History of Mississippi provided by the Secretary of State’s Office.

Students will describe the issue and their proposal for how citizens and elected officials should address that issue.

Top winners of the art and essay contests from specific age categories will receive a $100 savings account, with another $100 awarded to winning students’ schools.

More information on Promote the Vote is located here: www.sos.ms.gov/PTV.