Aldine ISD organized and sponsored a student voter registration drive. The district partnered with several local agencies to talk to students about the importance of voting. Representatives from the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), Mi Familia Vota, and the Harris County Clerk’s Office talked to students.
The events made it easy for eligible students to register to vote for the upcoming general election Nov. 4. Community partners visited with students during the week of Sept. 15.
Aldine Superintendent Dr. Wanda Bamberg was behind the effort to increase voter registration among high school students.
“It is important to play an active role in government,” said Bamberg. “And one of the ways a person can do that is to be a voter. Students need to learn how important it is to vote. Studies show that young people who learn how to vote, tend to vote. And young people who are registered to vote, tend to vote in higher numbers. Educating students about voting is important.”
When Bamberg spoke to students, she encouraged them to vote.
“I challenge you to register to vote and encourage your friends and family members to get signed up and to go out and vote,” said Bamberg. “I want you to have a voice about what happens in your country and your future.”
Students heard from folks like Mario Salinas with Mi Familia Vota. He is the state deputy director of the organization. Salinas, who speaks with a severe stutter, grabbed students’ attention with his personal story.
“I didn’t have a heartbeat when I was born,” said Salinas. “The doctors got my heart going but they diagnosed me with cerebral palsy. They had low expectations. They told my parents that I would never walk nor talk. My parents didn’t accept that. They made a choice. Through many years of physical therapy, I was able to beat the odds and exceeded the doctors’ expectations. I graduated with honors and was in gifted and talented courses. As you can hear, I have a severe stutter. I struggle with it daily. But I have a voice just like you that deserves to be heard.
“You all have a choice to make a difference in your communities. Your vote is your voice.”
Rafael Palofax with NALEO also spoke to students about the importance of voting.
“Look and and see what is going on in your communities locally and at the state and national level,” said Palofax. “As Election Day approaches, take the time to listen to what candidates have to say on issues you find important. Vote for the person you feel will best make the changes you want to see.”
Students also learned how they could work the polls on Election Day. Gee-way Yue with the Harris County Clerk’s Office went over the requirements to qualify to work as poll workers. Yue also discussed the need for poll workers that speak a foreign language such as Spanish and Vietnamese.
“I encourage you to work as poll workers,” said Yue. “It is a great experience and you are helping folks in your community. For those who speak more than one language, we could use your skills. We are always in need for bilingual poll workers.”
The event included a Constitution Quiz face-off between students and teachers.
The district also decided to award the campus with the highest percentage of eligible seniors who registered to vote. Participating campuses included Aldine, Carver, Davis, Eisenhower, MacArthur and Nimitz. Carver High School brought home the win. The campus had 60% of its eligible seniors register to vote. As the winner, the campus will receive $500 from the district. The money will help pay for some of the senior class prom costs.
“The districtwide effort proved successful,” said Garza. “We had 305 eligible students register to vote.”
“We appreciate our community partners for working with us in helping make this event a success,” said Bamberg. “This is a great way to prepare students to meet their civic duty.”
See video of the voter registration drives and hear Dr. Bamberg challenge students to vote.
Director of Written Communication & Spanish Media
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