Young Democrats register local students to vote

Devereaux Nash, secretary of the Young Democrats of Forsyth County, helps a student at Carver High School fill out a voter registration form on Thursday, Feb. 28.

Young Democrats register local students to vote
March 07
01:00 2019

The Young Democrats of Forsyth County (YDFC) is making sure local high school students are registered to vote during the 2020 election. Last week the two organizations joined forces and kicked off a voter registration tour at local high schools.

The tour began on Monday, Feb. 25, at Winston-Salem Preparatory Academy (WSPA) and continued on Thursday, Feb. 28, at Carver High School. Quamekia Shavers, president of the YDFC, said the purpose of the tour is to let young people in the community know that they can get involved in the voting process and register to vote before they turn 18 years old. To pre-register to vote in North Carolina, you have to be at least 16 years old, although you have to be 18 years old to vote. Registration forms are stored until citizens are of legal age to vote.

Shavers said it is important that we educate our youth because for years young people have neglected to vote because they aren’t informed. She said, “We miss these votes because students don’t feel empowered, they don’t feel informed.

“Because they aren’t being empowered or informed, they don’t know that they’re eligible to vote or register to vote. So many of them today who are 16, when it’s time for them to vote, they don’t have to worry about that. They can just go downtown or their respective precinct and vote,” continued Shavers. “This was a huge market that we missed. If these high school students would have known that they could get $10 an hour canvasing and handing out literature, how many more students and young people would have signed up and been instrumental in a campaign and for our party? But they didn’t even know they weren’t even registered to vote.

“… They saw the signs about the local election, but it doesn’t matter if you see something every day if it’s something that you feel doesn’t impact your life. It’s just something you just walk by and I don’t want that to happen this election because it’s very crucial that we stand up and be active, and as long as we do that we’ll be successful.”

On the first day of the tour Shavers said nearly all of the seniors at WSPA registered. Day two at Carver was just as successful. After setting up a “registration station” in the cafeteria during lunch, more than 30 students registered in the first hour. While filling out their registration forms, seniors Skylasia David and Mahonea Stafford said they decided to take advantage of the opportunity to register because they didn’t get to vote last year.

“I didn’t get to vote for president last year, so I really do want to vote because I feel like every vote counts,” David said.

When asked why they think young people don’t vote, Stafford said most people feel like their vote doesn’t matter.

“I feel like most people our age don’t vote because they feel like their vote doesn’t matter. But I feel like it’s my right to vote, so I feel like I should exercise that right,” Stafford said.

After registering, students got to enjoy fresh doughnuts and other snacks. A final tally of the registration forms totaled more than 100. Throughout the month the voter registration tour is expected to visit the other high schools in the district.

For more information, visit the Forsyth County Democratic Party headquarters, 1128 Burke Street, or call 336-724-5941.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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