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Florida students look to ensure set voter pre-registration days in public schools

A teenager wants to get the next generation of voters prepared and excited to make their voices heard on election day. And his idea could bring changes to your child’s school. We looked at how it would work.

Test, quizzes and voter pre-registration: It could soon be the new standard in high schools.

Sean Rowland has already graduated but told us voter pre-registration is extremely important to him, and he volunteers his time to it.

“I just think it’s really important that everyone gets equal opportunity,” Rowland said. “And it’s a lot easier for people to vote when they’re 18.”

Eighteen-year-old Madeline Feiock in Tallahassee came up with the idea for Florida public high schools to devote two days to sign up eligible 16 and 17-year-olds. So, when they turn 18, they’re able to vote immediately.

“It’s important. That way you’re ready and able to research and actually know who you want to vote for, as opposed to just going in there and voting for anybody,” Rowland said.

The resolution’s goal is to ensure every school has a set two days. If it’s approved by the Florida School Boards Association or Florida Association of District School Superintendents, any district can adopt it.

For people who support this goal for young voters, now is the best time.

In Lee County, pre-registration is allowed. But it’s up to each school whether they do it or not.

In Collier County, all public high schools participate in pre-registration, even having a special competition to encourage it.

The resolution would make it all the same following similar state’s lead, says Peter Bergerson, FGCU’s professor of political science. If it passes, Bergerson says getting many new younger voters could seriously impact Florida’s elections.

“In California and D.C., so there is a nationwide movement to increase the voting roles and get young people engaged,” Bergerson said.

We want to know what you think. Should all Florida counties ensure voter pre-registration is performed at schools each school year?

Reporter:Anika Henanger
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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