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Local Alt-Rock Band Visits Schools In The Puget Sound Area To Register Young People To Vote

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Ashley Gross
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KNKX
Gypsy Temple performed on Oct. 3 at Bellevue High School as part of their "Make Your Voice Heard Loud" tour.

In an effort to get young people registered and excited to cast their ballots for this November’s election, a local alternative rock band made up of college students has been traveling around to schools and colleges as part of their “Make Your Voice Heard Loud” tour.

Eighteen- to 24-year-olds had the lowest turnout in the most recent presidential election of any age group. 

The band, Gypsy Temple, was founded by Cameron Lavi Jones, 19. He plays lead guitar, sings lead vocals and is a student at the University of Washington.

He said they had the idea to perform at schools on a flatbed truck and register students to vote as a way to counter what he said is a feeling among young people that they’re “on the outside or disengaged” from politics. He said the aim is to get them registered to vote and also urge them to follow through and cast a ballot.

“The point is to be seen and be heard,” Lavi Jones said. “By doing that as a larger group, we make people understand that our voice is something that really, really matters.”

Monday is the deadline for online and mail-in registration in order to vote in the November election. New voters can register in person up to eight days before the election.

The band has visited high schools in Spanaway, Shoreline and Bellevue and performed for a schoolwide assembly at Burlington-Edison High School in Skagit County recently.

“All 1,100 kids sat down and just got a concert and then afterwards they came up, registered to vote, came and took some photos with the band,” Lavi Jones said. “It was awesome. It was exactly what we’re trying to do.”

Gypsy Temple is scheduled to perform at Mount Si High School in Snoqualmie next week and at Eastlake High School in Sammamish the following week.

In July 2017, Ashley Gross became KNKX's youth and education reporter after years of covering the business and labor beat. She joined the station in May 2012 and previously worked five years at WBEZ in Chicago, where she reported on business and the economy. Her work telling the human side of the mortgage crisis garnered awards from the Illinois Associated Press and the Chicago Headline Club. She's also reported for the Alaska Public Radio Network in Anchorage and for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.