Chelsea Bisi, a senior at Derry Area High School in Pennsylvania, writes about the power of the youth vote and how she is preparing to register her peers to vote.
Your Voice Has Power.
Every day as I walk from class to class, I hear students talking about many issues they are passionate about.
Whether it be a Fortnite solo victory or their March Madness bracket, there is no denying that Derry students are willing to voice their opinions. This passion can be directly applied to our nation’s democracy. Millennials and Generation Z have the potential to make up 31 percent of the official electorate and have the power to elect officials who bring change to issues that are important to young voters. Key issues in every election increasingly relate to the concerns of students and other young voters.
However, only 49 percent of the eligible voters from these generations voted in the last election.
Participating in politics is a hard-won right in our nation and building a relationship with the political process as early as possible is key to making voting a life-long habit.
“Every election is determined by the people who show up.”
Are You Registered?
Our school district is attempting to bridge the gap between the students who are eligible to vote and our nation’s political process.
Derry High School has partnered with Inspire US, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization. In the next month, with their support, we will plan and conduct peer-to-peer voter registration activities with only one goal in mind; to transform our student’s passion into action that improves our communities and strengthens our democracy.
In Mr. Kelly’s civics and economics classes, students will be given the opportunity to fill out the application and become a registered voter. A table outside of the cafeteria will also provide voter registration forms to interested students.
If 85% of our eligible students register to vote our school will host a public ceremony where Governor Tom Wolf or Secretary of State Pedro Cortés will present our school with the Governor’s Civic Engagement Award.
In order to register to vote in Pennsylvania, a registration application must be filled out along with a Pennsylvania state-issued ID or the last four digits of your Social Security number. Twenty minutes is all it takes to fill out the paperwork that will give you a voice in our local, state, and federal governments.
“Elections belong to the people. It's their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”
― Abraham Lincoln
Make Your Voice Count.
Youth today often feel disenfranchised by the political system and cynicism of America’s political process.
They turn away from political involvement and civic engagement. So why should you, a senior who is at a turning point in your life, decide to play an active role in our democracy and register to vote?
With our graduation looming, it is imperative to prepare for the responsibilities that will accompany this monumental occasion in our lives. Voting is the foundation of our republic.
Nothing binds our nation more than our history of striving for freedom and our rights guaranteed by our constitution.
This article was published in The Trojan's Tribute, the student newspaper for Derry Area High School, which was published online on April 9, 2018. https://thetrojanstribune.weebly.com/home/why-inspire-usa