Voter registration drive held at Jefferson

Writing his name down, a student registers to vote on Feb. 3.

Christina Lu

Writing his name down, a student registers to vote on Feb. 3.

Christina Lu, Staff Writer

The League of Women Voters visited Jefferson to help seniors register to vote on Monday, Feb. 3. During lunch and JLC, league members set up a table in the Nobel Commons where any students that will be 18 on or before November 5, 2020 could easily register. 

Having voter registration at school made it an easy process for students.

“This is one of those things where we just want to create a really positive experience around it. We want to make it relatively easy to do and get it all done in one day,”  social studies teacher Jennifer Hitchcock said.

To encourage schools to register more seniors and juniors who qualify, the Governor’s High School Voter Registration Challenge was created.

“If you get above 60% of your senior class registered, then you get a visit from the State Secretary of Education,” Hitchcock said.

The League of Women Voters had its own competition to further push voting registration.

“In Fairfax County, whichever school has the highest registration rate [will] win an award and an honorary title and recognition in front of the school board,” Hitchcock said.

The challenges contributed to the enthusiasm surrounding becoming registered voters and participating.

“It gets more kids registered, it gets kids excited about registering. It’s not something that we can brag about, but it really promotes registering and voting,” Hitchcock said. “Enough political science research has shown that positive peer pressure is more influential than getting people to vote than spending money through campaigns.”

The benefit of registering students now is that they’ll be able to vote in upcoming elections.

“Students who are 18 on or before November 5 2020, not only can they vote in that election, but because they’re going to be 18 for the general election, the laws in Virginia allow them to vote in the primary on March 3,” Hitchcock said. 

As a result of voter registration, seniors will now be able to more actively participate as citizens.

“It’s definitely an interesting feeling to be able to vote because I essentially have the same political power as many adults around me now,” senior Mia Yang said. “I think it motivates me to learn more about candidates and their platforms rather than shrugging it off as politics.”