A couple of Park City High School seniors have organized a voter registration initiative at school this Friday, February 14. It’s part of the Voterize 2020 Challenge which is campaign to register more women and young people to vote.
Friday is Utah’s voter registration resolution inaugural one- year celebration. Park City High School Seniors Kristina Shipman and Darian Carter, both Voterize Ambassadors have organized a voter registration event at the high school. Their target is to register 400 students on Friday including pre-registration of 16-year-olds. Darian says they’ve held a coupleAC of voter registration events this year.
“So, we’ll just take 20 minutes out of one of our periods on Friday and the teachers are all going to show a video and show students how to register to vote and then we're handing out forms and thought time will be designated to do that for everyone at the school.”
Kristina says it wasn’t difficult to get support for the voter registration event from school officials.
“And voting is incredibly important and when we told them we're celebrating the 150th anniversary of the first woman voting not only in Utah, but in the United States, it really speaks to them because they want all of their students to be involved politically and environmentally, in any way that they can be involved.”
Kristina used the climate change issue as an example of why young people should be voting now.
“Millennials and Gen Z, they are going to have to be dealing with this problem in their complete lifetimes and so it's really important that younger groups are getting out to the polls and voting and participating because the issues going on right now are going to affect us greatly in the future.”
Last year the legislature passed a resolution making February 14th voter registration day. Voterize Founder Elsa Gary explains why she felt it was important to engage more women in Utah politics.
“It was via House Concurrent Resolution 16 that was introduced on February 14th, 2019 and passed both houses unanimously. There are approximately 300,000 women in Utah who are eligible to vote but not registered and we thought that would be a great way to focus on that and try and reduce that number.”
Gary has worked to organize the 2020 ambassador challenge which is to recruit 1000 people to commit to registering 20 women. They’ve got 520 ambassadors signed up so far. Both students have hit their targets.
Data shows that when young people vote, they tend to continue to vote throughout their lifetime. For more information a link to Voterize can be found on KPCW.org.