SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – We all have a voice in this year’s election, and five Washington High School seniors are reminding their class to use theirs. Together they’ve started the school’s first-ever voter registration table.
Homecoming week at Washington High is all about celebrating tradition, and during this year’s, seniors Morgan Gasper, Julia Jacobson, Nora Vuong, Katherine Escalante, and Avery Luecke are hoping to start a new one.
“I think starting a new tradition would be so cool with voter registration booths,” Escalante said.
For first-time voters between ages of 18 and 24, Jacobson says the process to register can be intimidating.
“They don’t usually vote because they think like, ‘Oh, I don’t really know what to do,’ and, so, they should try and vote and educate themselves,” Jacobson said.
They formed a group they call Youth Vote SF.
Their goal is to provide students easy and effective resources to help them prepare. They set up a registration booth outside the school to teach their fellow students the process.
“We use a lot of social media outreach to get the word out when it comes to using graphics and stuff,” Escalante said.
Because of the pandemic, Escalante says they’re even developing ways to educate them through the use of Zoom.
“And, kind of, talking them through the forms online and sharing our screen and showing them what really needs to be done and how to even go about ordering an absentee ballot,” Escalante said.
They even provide them physical, sample ballots.
“You see exactly what’s on your ballot. You can print it out before your take it to the polls and look at it as a reference,” Escalante said.
They also created a special 7-minute presentation for their fellow students on why voting matters and how.
“We don’t want to push anyone’s views onto each other. We don’t want to be like, ‘Vote for this person.’ No. We just want people to vote,” Vuong said.
Through their efforts, they not only hope to inspire voting, but even younger students to carry that message on.
“We can talk about possibilities for you to do planning next year for a voter registration booth and, you know, start to institutionalize voter registration booths,” Escalante said.
“We want to make sure everybody is represented,” Gasper said.
October 19th is the last day to register to vote for the 2020 election in the state of South Dakota. If you want to register or check your registration status you can visit VOTE.org.