District proposal for relocating school stirs controversy

With the current political atmosphere, it is critical that every voice in the young generation take a stand on the present government policies. Despite having such strong opinions at a young age, only about 46 percent of young voters (ages eighteen to twenty-nine) voted in 2016, making up a meager nineteen percent of the electorate. With this in mind, Seniors Cynthia Zhou, Hannah Lee, Prerna Agrawal, Michelle Huang, and Junior Cody Ho organized a voter registration drive from Oct. 16 to Oct. 18 located at the quad during lunch to encourage our students to vote.
“My reason to put together this registration drive is because I know a lot of people choose not to vote just because of how inconvenient it is to get to the voting process and get to the ballot in the first place. Holding a registration drive at school just makes sense because it is where all the young people are that will be eligible to vote soon,” Senior Hannah Lee said.
Not associated with a specific club, these group of students took it upon themselves to give students the necessary resources to become voices for the way our lives are governed. Finding and communicating with organizations like ASB, San Jose Unified School District and the Santa Clara Valley Water District through email, they received necessary voting materials and scheduled the dates they planned to set up booths in the quad. Coincidently, the district wanted to conduct a voter registration drive the same week, so planning the dates of when to set up voting tables were easily worked out.
The event was advertised to students through posters around the school, the school’s news, and social media. With midterm elections coming up, the event was timed so that newly-registered voters could vote for the first time shortly afterwards. Furthermore, the Politics club and JSA were strategically contacted to hold small booths on Wed. and Thurs. to minimize the crowds of students reducing the time taken out of their lunch to register.
“It’s really important for young people to vote because a much smaller population of young people vote compared to older generations. The decisions we make now have a huge impact on the future, and young people are the most impacted by that future because we are the one who are going to live in it,” Junior Jasmine Shao said.
Students aged 16 or older were encouraged to pre-register to vote, meaning once they turn 18 they are automatically registered; students aged 18 or older could officially register to vote. The process of registering was very straightforward: students were required to fill out a form that asked for their basic information, including their name, social security number or driver’s license, address and phone number. The form also asked for the applicant’s political party, which could be left blank if undecided. Additionally, to help streamline the process, many volunteers were present to help guide students and answer any of their questions or concerns. The whole procedure took less than five minutes, and free snacks were given afterwards to those who participated.
“As young members of society, we often underestimate how much impact we can actually have on our country and dismiss voting as someone else’s problem. By informing us of the importance of voting and bringing the registration to the students rather than the other way around, the excuse of being “too lazy” goes out of the picture,” Senior Adrian Jiang said.