Highlanders Exercise Amendment XV


Grace Ryba

Students who registered received this sticker.

Grace Ryba, Editor In Chief

Millions of people fail to vote on election day due to a missed a registration deadline, or lack of knowledge on how to register. On Wednesday, May 1, Rochester Adams High School invited students eligible to vote in the next election to register to do so. This provided a great opportunity for students aged 17.5 and older a chance to fill out voter registration paperwork before leaving for college.

The school drive will allow those registered the chance to choose leaders, representatives, and legislation important to them in the next election. The next general election is November 5, 2019.

“By registering student voters, we indirectly increasing their civic participation as a whole; most of them opted to be sent an absentee ballot, so they’ll be able to vote in their first election, regardless of where they’re going to college,” said senior and PTSA (Parent Teacher Student Association) member at Rochester Adams Grace Haubert.

Students were released from their classrooms to go to the cafeteria and begin the process. There, students joined PTSA classmates and parents eager to help and answer questions.

Jessica Strachan
Rochester Hills City Clerk Tina Barton explained new legislation, cleared up questions about absentee ballots, and proposed a streamlined, onsite registration.

“Studies have shown that voters who miss the first election they’re eligible to vote in are less likely to vote in subsequent elections. By ensuring students have accessibility to a ballot next fall, we hope to see a rise in voter turnout for college students!” said Haubert.

After filling out the initial paperwork, students were led by PTSA members to a designated table in the auxiliary gym. Each table was organized by city, where students to turn in their form.

Here, election officials from Auburn Hills, Rochester Hills, Oakland Township, Oakland County, and the Michigan Secretary of State office explained new legislation, cleared up questions about absentee ballots, offered insight, and congratulated students in exercising their right to vote.

“The process can be confusing, especially for students who are away at college during elections, we decided to bring together all the local election officials for onsite registration and we offered the option for automatic absentee ballot application by mail. This eliminates an extra step for new voters and allows them to be engaged citizens no matter where their academic careers take them,” said Rochester Hills City Clerk Tina Barton.

In the end, the district celebrates with the event successfully registering over three-hundred new voters. Only 53.6 percent of 18-24 year olds are registered to vote, and Rochester Adams is helping contribute to increasing that statistic.

“We are proud of our students who search for opportunities to contribute to their community in positive ways,” said principal Pasquale Cusumano.