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Voter Registration inspires teen involvement in politics

Written by Katie Zhang

On Oct. 4 and 5, students held a voter registration drive at Gunn. The Women in Politics (WiP) club and the Palo Alto chapter of the League of Women Voters registered students who will be 18 years or older to vote in the general election, which will be held on November 8. Vice President of WiP senior Quinn McGannon said that in order to make everything go smoothly during the event, the club had to undergo extensive planning. “First, we have to get in contact with organizations that would be willing to work with us,” McGannon said. “Like for the Voter Registration, we work with the League of Women Voters of Palo Alto, [and] they give us a lot of information and let us know of opportunities for us to volunteer.”

Voter registration officer for Palo Alto League of Women Voters Liza Taft  was involved in helping with the logistics of the event. She gathers volunteers from the Palo Alto chapter and brings registration materials, but she said that WiP’s work is what got the students to come out to the event.“WiP does a marvelous job of getting the students there to register,” she said. The students who registered at the event were often young voters who recently turned 18 years old or would be 18 by Election Day in November.

WiP Secretary junior Vidhu Navjeevan believes that this event was especially important for these newly age-qualified students to attend. “I think this election decides a lot for our country, so as long as we get as many of the young people who are out there to register to vote, then it’s beneficial for our country,” Navjeevan said.

McGannon agrees that it is important for youth to be involved in the voting process. “As American citizens, I think it’s our job to vote even though a lot of people say it doesn’t matter because of the presidential election electoral system,” McGannon said. “But it’s really important, aside from the presidential election, for us to also elect state representatives who represent our values and beliefs.” According to Taft , students who vote early in life will continue voting. Thus she is supportive of the work WiP is doing to increase youth voting in their community. “I think the sooner young people get involved, the better we will all be,” Taft  said. “I am impressed by the enthusiasm and hard work that WiP does to get people to vote. I hope they continue to do this in college and if they’re really interested—to make it a career.”

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