Local high school students register to vote at Student Voter Registration Day

March 18, 2016 Meaghan McGoldrick
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Students from two local high schools were treated to a day of non-partisan civic education and voter registration on Friday, March 18.

Student Voter Registration Day – hosted at Fort Hamilton High School and New Utrecht High School by Councilmember Vincent Gentile, the Arab American Association of New York and NYU Lutheran Medical Center – is a citywide, one-day event that reaches over 20,000 high school seniors at 61 schools across the five boroughs.

Locally, the event – which aims to counter low youth voter turnout by giving students the opportunity to register to vote in the classroom – reached over 1,500 students.

“We all know that New Yorkers are extremely opinionated. Due to social media, sharing views on candidates and elected officials may be at an all-time high; however, it has become alarmingly clear that very few are making their opinions count in the voting booths,” said Gentile. “Recent history has shown that New York State ranks nearly dead last in voter turnout in the nation. The time is now to dramatically improve our rank, and the young men and women of New York hold the keys to driving us back to the top.”

This year’s event rode on the heels of a successful pilot program in March 2015, which brought civic education to over 3,000 high school students and registered over 2,000 of them to vote.

Students who are 17 years old may register to vote if they will turn 18 in 2016. To be eligible to vote, students must turn 18 on or before the day of the election.

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