Election Day is one time you shouldn’t scold your teenagers for cutting class. After all, walking out of school to vote or to support your friends’ constitutional right to do so is evidence they learned something in civics class, their grades notwithstanding.

On November 6 at 10 a.m., thousands of students under voting age from coast to coast will walk out of school and march with their voting-eligible peers to the polls to make a statement that their voices and votes matter.

Election Day is the most sacred of holidays for a democracy, a time when citizens 18 years and older can select representatives charged with shaping our laws and running our governments.

The right to vote is paramount, because without it one’s very right to exist can be subject to the whims of others. Immigrants currently recognize the importance of Election Day in ways that women and blacks, who have historically been denied that right, know too well.

The Future Coalition — a national network of youth-led groups — helped organize more than 500 school walkouts on Election Day across the country, according to reporting by The Nation, as part of a “Walkout to Vote” campaign.

Remember, it was the youth voice that helped lower the voting age from 21 to 18 in 1971 by highlighting the flagrant contradiction that an 18-year-old could be forced to go to war through the draft but did not have the right to vote on conscription. We should all want the people affected by our policies to have a say in them.

Read the full article about youth voting by Andre Perry at The Hechinger Report.