The Voter Registration and Awareness Club

Amorah Schultze, Feature Editor

The Voter Registration and Awareness Club was created to inform students about their options for voting and the ongoing election processes, particularly the primaries for the presidential election. Senior Liam Kornacki began the voters club at the beginning of the school year, where they meet every Wednesday in Room A111.

An ongoing trend is that people from ages 18 – 29 have the lowest voter turnout rate in comparison to any other age group.

I think young people look around them at various problems with society and become discouraged and cynical, which leads to low vot[er] turnouts,” AP Government teacher Dalton Pool said. “If young Americans got more involved in government through political advocacy, education, protesting, running for office, and voting they have the ability to change this country.”

Senior Kornacki believes the cynicism of younger voters comes from a fear of being judged for their preferences.

“Students want to avoid conflict in their families or the public,” Kornecki said. “[They] stray away from talking about political views in public or just outright avoid voting altogether.”

The Voters’ Club encourages political discourse and wants to keep students informed about their options for election and the primaries, without instilling biased opinions on them.

“That’s kind of the charm of starting a club at this age. Most people don’t have too strong of opinion,” Kornacki said. “There hasn’t been much of a divide on views when it comes to different parties, and it’s nice to see people trying to work together on [politics].”

One way for young voters to inform themselves is through primaries. Primaries are conventions for both political parties and citizen voters, meant to narrow down choices for candidates.

“[] Many states and counties indirectly discourage voting through complex registration processes, limited time and resources during election season, and arduous identification requirements when voting,” Pool said.

Kornacki believes the complex registration often contributes to the inexperience of teen voters.

“When young voters are just starting to vote, they have very limited knowledge of what happens at the voting booth, what other people are like there, and what exactly they’re voting [for],” Kornacki said. “It’s very typical to find somebody who’s very passionate about one point of view and doesn’t really know all the facts behind it.”

Additionally, first-time voters have to know how to register before they can cast a ballot. The League of Women Voters and Representative Goodwin are visiting Bowie to help 18-year-old students register to vote.

“The young people who do know what they’re doing and are actually going out there,” Kornacki said. “They’re going to make a difference in this world because they’re willing to take the challenge to actually know what’s happening around them.”

The Voter Registration and Awareness Club are preparing for their chance at capturing the changing political environment of America. The future of the government rests on the capabilities and efforts of youths.

[I]t is especially important for young people to develop the habit of civic participation because if they do, it is something that will stick with them for the rest of their lives,” Pool said. “Having a voter registration club on campus is so important if we want to ensure all our students have the opportunity to participate in our government.”