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Young Voters

October 25, 1992

Deanne Lew's letter (Oct. 8) about young voters being uninformed about this year's elections and feeling unimportant to the campaigns strikes a familiar chord with me. I believe it is the responsibility of our education system to give our kids an understanding of politics and teach the importance of their right to vote. Too bad our governor doesn't agree.

For the last two years, I have fought for legislation to create a "Kids Vote" program in California. It would include classroom instruction on the voting process, the candidates and the issues. It would also prepare students to accompany voting adults to the polls on Election Day, either to cast "mock ballots" or real ballots for those of voting age.

Kids Vote is modeled after a very successful program in Arizona and is designed to increase overall voter participation. In fact, 8% of voting parents whose children participated in the Kids Vote program indicated they voted only because of the program.

The governor, in his veto message, said that the polling place shouldn't be utilized as a classroom. Why not? I can't think of a better way to introduce this important lesson than for our children to experience real voting.

I'm pleased that Ms. Lew cares about creating a generation of informed voters. I hope she and her fellow students will take the next step in their learning and write the governor to make sure other students coming up will have an opportunity to participate in a program like Kids Vote.

RICHARD KATZ, Assemblyman, D-Panorama City

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