Secretary of State
Vote in Honor of a Veteran Campaign Enjoys Great Success
(Frankfort, KY) If the number of people sporting “Vote in Honor of a Veteran” buttons this election season is any indication of whether Kentuckians are starting to pay attention to upcoming primary race, we may see an up-tick in voter turnout on May 22, 2007. Nearly 10,000 buttons have been distributed throughout the state of Kentucky in just over one week since the program was publicly announced.
“The enthusiasm for this new voting initiative is simply overwhelming,” remarked Secretary of State Trey Grayson. “I am especially delighted for those veterans who deserve this honor and recognition. Their sacrifice protects our democratic process. Although we will never be able to repay them for their efforts, this is a small way that we can give tribute to their service for our country.”
The program, an initiative designed to increase voter participation by honoring the service of America’s military men and women, has two main components. The first are personalized buttons that citizens can wear on Election Day to honor their favorite veterans. Buttons can be acquired by visiting most local County Clerk’s offices, or citizens may submit a request online at the Office of the Secretary of State website.
In particular, the Vote in Honor of a Veteran buttons have been enormously popular with citizens, election officials, and veterans alike. "I'm very much in support of it," local AMVETS Post Commander Gene Hook recently told the Maysville Independent Ledger. "I think it's an exceptionally good idea."
"I can think of nothing more appropriate on election day than to pay tribute to those who fight for our right to a free and democratic process," said Maj. Gen. Donald C. Storm, Adjutant General for Kentucky. "It's been said that freedom is not free, and Kentucky's military men and women have a full appreciation of what that means. I encourage everyone to take part in this new tradition, and above all else, get out and vote!"
Although the number of requests for the buttons has nearly erased the supplies that the county clerks and the Office of the Secretary of State had on hand for the primary election, the Office of the Secretary of State has re-ordered the buttons in order to meet the public demand. County Clerks across the Commonwealth have reported that citizens are eager to participate and many have been wearing their buttons during the absentee voting process.
The second component of the program allows individuals to honor veterans by visiting the tribute gallery where visitors can read stories and tributes from the friends and families who have elected to honor their loved ones through the simple act of voting. Citizens can also submit a written tribute about the individual that they have chosen to honor with their vote. Selected tributes will be posted in the online testimony gallery or collected for the archives of the Kentucky Historical Society.
“I am hope that many more individuals will share their stories about their favorite veteran. I especially want to encourage veterans themselves to comment about their experiences on our tribute page. That is what makes this program unique; it allows us to preserve these memories for generations to come,” noted Grayson.
Grayson was optimistic that the program will draw more attention to the primary election. “We are hearing from a number of clerk’s and participants in the program that individuals stop and ask them about the buttons. It is a great opportunity to remind citizens to vote on May 22, 2007.”
For more information about the new program, to order a personalized button, or to leave a tribute to a veteran, please visit: www.sos.ky.gov/veterans.
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