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Community Outreach

U.S. Attorney Harvey Encourages Thousands of High School Students to Value Voting Rights

U.S. Attorney Kerry B. Harvey spoke to more than a thousand high school students in eastern Kentucky, encouraging them to value and exercise their right to vote. The U.S. Attorney’s Office makes the prosecution of vote buying cases a high priority. Convictions in these cases serve as a deterrent to citizens buying or selling their vote. U.S. Attorney Harvey’s presentation is recognition of the role youth can play in a culture where many people accept vote buying as a common practice.

“You are the generation that can change the culture in your community,” said U.S. Attorney Harvey. “You deserve the right and freedom to vote with the confidence that you voted for a candidate as part of an honest election process.”

U.S. Attorney Harvey made presentations to four different high school sophomore classes. The presentations were intended to help students gain an appreciation of the right to vote by discussing the evolution of voting rights in America. To support this message, he told stories of American heroes who sacrificed to gain voting equality for all genders and races. Additionally, Harvey referenced the obstacles voters of the early 20th century had to face, such as poll taxes and literacy tests, which frequently prevented citizens from exercising their constitutional right to vote.

Earlier this year, U.S. Attorney Harvey’s office obtained guilty pleas from eight defendants, including a circuit court judge, a school superintendent and the county clerk, in a racketeering case where public officials purchased votes in local elections in Clay County. In 2012, more than ten defendants pleaded guilty in federal court to charges related to vote buying in Breathitt County.

United States Attorney Kerry B. Harvey and high school students

United States Attorney Kerry B. Harvey addressing high school students on voting rights.

United States Attorney Kerry B. Harvey and high schools students

United States Attorney Kerry B. Harvey addressing high school students on voting rights.

United States Attorney Kerry B. Harvey and high schools students

United States Attorney Kerry B. Harvey addressing high school students on voting rights.

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