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Voter education seminar coming to Ratliff Center

A voter education seminar will be held on Oct. 8 at the Theo Ratliff Activity Center from 5-8 p.m. with gubernatorial candidate and Mayor of Tuscaloosa Walt Maddox making a special appearance to discuss his platform with attendees. Governor Kay Ivey has also been invited but has yet to confirm her participation.

The seminar will also see Probate Judge Laurie Hall, Board of Registrars Chairman Barry Hunt, Assistant Director of Elections at Alabama Secretary of State Clay Helms and District Attorney Greg Griggers all present on different aspects of voting, such as the voting process, registration and regaining lost voting rights.

The Student Government Association from the University of West Alabama will hold a trivia event with door prizes for the local students in attendance following the presentations. A dinner reception will take place from 7-8 p.m. and will feature musical entertainment.

Annie Robertson, event chair for the national service sorority and one of the night’s presenters Delta Theta Sigma—Livingston Alumnae Chapter, said that participants will leave the seminar with two big takeaways.

“They will be able to hear the platforms of gubernatorial candidates. They will also have the opportunity to better understand the voting process,” she said.

The overall purpose of the event is to “make citizens aware of voting rights.” It is open to the public, and Robertson encouraged students from upper elementary through the high school level to attend as well.

Robertson said the organization is making a big push to include students, even those not old enough to vote, in the event to enhance the civic lessons that the students receive.

“We just want them to be aware of current events,” she said.

The seminar is the brainchild of Livingston’s chapter of Delta Sigma Theta and fits in with the national organization’s involvement in social action, which has historic roots.

“Our very first public act was [being] part of the suffragette movement,” Robertson said.

In addition to Delta Theta Sigma, the seminar is presented by the City of Demopolis, Theo Ratliff Activity Center & Exercise Team, Elite Lindenite Organization, Inc., Robertson Banking Company, King Scholarship Foundation and Sunshine People.

In keeping with the theme, Robertson encouraged participants to wear red, white or blue attire.

(This article originally appeared in the Saturday, September 29 issue of the Demopolis Times.)