MHS Teachers Push Accessible Voter Registration for Students


Media by Parker Brandt

MHS serves as a polling location during elections. Eligible voters are encouraged to vote in the April election.

Civic Learning Week is set to begin next week, and teachers at MHS are hoping to celebrate with voter registration for students.

Civic Learning Week will take place on March 6-10. The organization hopes to “highlight the importance of civic education in sustaining and strengthening constitutional democracy in the United States.” Their top priority is to promote civic education.

With Civic Learning Week approaching, Scott Szevery, social studies teacher, urges Rockwood to reintroduce the availability of voter registration at MHS alongside the Academic Council (the body responsible for final-decision making, composed of school staff) and Partners In Education (PIE).

“It’s very easy to become distracted and forget to register to vote as a freshman or sophomore in college or not know how to vote from out of state,” Szevery said. “Making registration available to students before they graduate high school will put this on their radar a little earlier.”

Set to be available by the end of the semester, the Academic Council hopes to be in contact with the League of Women Voters, a grassroots organization that offers voter registration, the process of accessible voter registration in MHS up and running.

“We used to do voter registration years ago but it kind of fell by the wayside,” Szevery said. “So I said, ‘Can we bring that back?’ and people thought it was a good idea.”

Szevery said that with voluntary efforts, voter registration will become more easily accessible to students.

Mahita Avasarala, senior, said providing the opportunity for eligible students to register to vote at school would be convenient.

“Kids have to come to school anyway,” Avasarala said. “So, they might as well do something to really benefit themselves while they’re here.”

Avasarala is currently not registered to vote because she is still 17, but she plans on registering soon because she can at 17 ½.

With the General Municipal Election happening on Tuesday, April 4, which includes voting on three district Board of Education seats, Avasarala said encouraging students to register in March is a smart choice.

“A lot of people don’t realize that voting in local elections is just as important as the presidential elections,” Avasarala said.

Echoing Avasarala, Jordan Shelton, language arts teacher, said stressing the importance of voting to seniors who are entering adulthood has many benefits.

“It will show seniors that we think it’s very important that they participate in local government,” Shelton said. “And, it lets them know that all community members should have a goal to be an active voter.”

Shelton said other RSD high schools, such as Lafayette and Rockwood Summit, are giving their students the opportunity to register to vote at school, and she is excited to hopefully bring this back to MHS.