Rev. Jesse Jackson visits Paine College to encourage more people to vote

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Wednesday, October 9, 2019
News 12 at 11 o'clock

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- As we get closer to election season, more political figures are heading south, looking to get more people involved in the process. The Reverend Jesse Jackson was at Paine College today and his mission is to push more people to the polls.

During the last presidential election, only 55% of voters in Richmond County went to the polls.

That's one of the worst voter turnouts in the state. Reverend Jesse Jackson is in town, hoping to change that in 2020.

"When people come together, Georgia can be #3 in the nation in football. When we come together, we win. We must decide as a people to learn to live together, not die apart as fools," said Jackson.

Reverend Jesse Jackson's message today was simple, come together and go vote.

"You must, in fact, make a choice. Make a decision," said Jackson.

It's a message student government president Isaac Pennyman has been trying to get across. He's trying to inspire his fellow students to use their voices and vote.

"The inspiration now to vote is to bring about change. The message doesn't change, but the method definitely does," said Pennyman.

During his short time as president, he's brought in two big names to help deliver that message, Tim Ryan in August, and now Jesse Jackson.

"It's a good thing not just for the school, but for the community," said Pennyman.

Pennyman says even though the presidential election is next year, it's important to get people engaged now with local elections coming up.

"Your local and national elections should line up. If I can get my community to look like this, which is the big part, why not get the rest of the nation to look like this," said Pennyman.

He says he'll continue to do whatever it takes to keep people engaged and encourage them to vote.

"If we gotta get some big person, or even somebody who is from here or even the mayor, we must do whatever is possible," said Pennyman.

There was a registration station set up in the back of the room today so people could register to vote. It's all in hopes to get the Richmond County voting percentage higher for the next election.

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