Many students registered to vote for the national 2020 primaries at Oswego High School on Wednesday, Oct. 16, with the help of the League of Women Voters.
Deborah Fisher, a member of the League of Women Voters, believes that it is very important for students to students to register to vote now.
“Illinois has a law where when you get your driver’s license, you are automatically registered to vote. But students, when they get their driver’s license at 16, would not be registered to vote because you can’t vote until you’re 18,” Fisher said. “Your age group, your needs, and your desires for this country and this state are represented through your vote.”
Junior Mary Victory, one of the many students who registered, also believes that it is important for young students to vote as soon as they can.
“We all have a choice now,” Victory said. “We all get to vote, [and] this is part of being an American.”
Senior Mia Novak, another one of the students who registered to vote in next year’s primaries, also believes that it is especially important to vote now so that student voters can have a voice in American politics.
“I think it’s important to vote. And now that [students are] able to, it’s especially important,” says Novak. “Everyone’s supposed to have a say in your government. I just like having that choice now. We’re not kids anymore.”
The League of Women Voters mentioned earlier, are the people who helped organize this event. They are a civic organization, with chapters across the U.S, that seeks to help present and future voters.
“[This league’s] mission is to empower voters and defend democracy,” Fisher said. “Part of the way we defend democracy is by encouraging people to vote, registering people to vote, and giving programs about various issues that might be [local, state, or national].”
Many of those who took part in the registration event were influenced by family or other adult figures in their lives.
“It’s really important to my grandparents and they’re just really proud of me to vote,” Victory said. “They are always pushing me, they’re like, really excited and all that.”
Even teachers at OHS influenced students to register, such as OHS history teacher, Ms. Brenda Shay.
“I registered because Ms. Shay said it’d be a good idea to participate,” Novak said. “And I’ve always wanted to vote.”
Registration to vote in the upcoming 2020 primaries is not over quite yet! It can still be done online by going to www.vote.gov.
To get the registration done in person, there are multiple places to register. The nearest state or local election office (which can be found here), a local DMV, or any armed forces recruitment centers are prime places to go to vote. Alternatively, a nearby public assistance office can also be used to register. However, it is important to call them first to make sure that they can provide the resources necessary to register.
“If students don’t vote, then their needs, their desires, their dreams will not be represented,” Fisher said.