In Racine, high school students were let out of class early today to help get out the vote.
For high school student Janet Serrano, the streets of Racine were today’s classrooms. At the Racine Labor Center this morning, the 16 year-old junior was one of several hundred students who boarded a fleet of rented vans, and headed out in a massive get-out-the-vote campaign organized by YES, the student arm of the immigrant rights group Voces de la Frontera.
Janet and the other volunteers were expected to knock on nearly half of the city’s doors.
"It's educational for me," she said. "I wasn't really into stuff like this, and now that I'm working with this, I know more about what's going on around me and my community."
Voces de la Frontera has been conducting non-partisan, election day canvasses here for some eight years. Organizer Kate Werning says she believes they’ve had an impact.
"We're having a strong impact on youth voter turnout, which is one of our intentions," she says. "Youth voter turnout did increase in the last election, and I would say the voter turnout in Racine has been going up."
Not everyone is pleased. Local Republican leaders criticize Racine unified for excusing students from class in order to take part in what they say is a thinly-veiled attempt to get out the vote for Democrats.