The Patriot Press

WHHS Mounts Campaign to Register 18-Year-Old Voters

By Afi Ibragimov and Nedeen Khashashina

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As the voter registration deadline nears on Tuesday, October 16, many citizens debate whether they should or should not register, and WHHS is mounting a campaign to ensure that all 18-year-old students are aware of the process.

The reasons why people choose to vote varies depending on who they are and what they believe in, but the primary belief is that voting allows one to express their support for a candidate they believe should be in power.  They  should also vote for someone who believes in a similar approach to controversial issues including immigration, womens’ reproductive rights, gun control, taxation, etc.

Getting more people to turn out depends on how many people are motivated enough to speak out and have their voices heard.

“I wanted to vote,” said Sam Vaught, a senior, “but I can’t because I miss the deadline by a week.” Vaught is among the few students who actually want to get out there and vote. 

“Voter turnout is incredibly low in this country,” said Michael Shale, world studies and AP Government teacher.   “If younger people vote, politicians will pay more attention to them,” he added.

Out of the 335 seniors at WHHS, only 92 are turning 18 by December, and 35 of those by the registration deadline. According to Shale, roughly 13 percent of those are currently registered. While many students believe that voting gives them and their generation a voice and allows it to be heard by various politicians, many are also unaware of the deadline or forget to register.

Jason Sanfilippo, a senior, believes that “as an American, we are lucky to be able to express our freedom to vote, and we should take advantage of it.”

This year’s voting is especially important because millennials, now the largest living generation, have a say in the elections that have long been dominated by the generation of baby boomers, according to CNN. 

The power is shifting into the hands of the new generation, and young adults should take advantage of that.  The more people we have voting, the greater the impact citizens have in the seemingly almighty and powerful government, said Shale.

The registration process in New Jersey is also surprisingly very simple– one can be registered in person, by mail or even online at the DMV or by using the National Mail Voter Registration Form. In order to vote, however, one must be 18 years old, live in NJ and the county for at least 30 days, be a citizen of the US, and be free of probation or parole.

For more details, contact your local election office.

New Jersey Contact Information

Address:

Secretary of State: Tahesha Way

33 W State Street

Trenton, NJ 08608

Phone Number:

(609) 292-3760

 

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"Without an informed public, the democracy will cease to exist."
WHHS Mounts Campaign to Register 18-Year-Old Voters