Acting Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar celebrated National Voter Registration Day by participating in a voter registration event and roundtable discussion with students at Carlisle High School.
“Carlisle is one of only four high schools to win the Governor’s Civic Engagement Gold Level Award in each of the program’s first two years. That’s quite an accomplishment,” Secretary Boockvar said. “We hope you will make it three in a row by again registering to vote at least 85 percent of eligible students.”
The Governor’s Office and the Departments of State and Education launched the Governor’s Civic Engagement Award (GCEA) program in 2017 to recognize high school students for educating their peers about elections and registering them to vote.
More than 6,000 eligible students have been registered in the program’s first two years. To be eligible to register to vote, a student must be 18 years of age or turn 18 on or before the date of the next election.
Secretary Boockvar thanked the students running today’s voter registration drive and answered questions about the registration process. She also visited two civics classes and took part in a roundtable discussion with students about voting.
The Secretary encouraged eligible students to consider becoming poll workers to see first-hand how elections work. Student poll workers must be at least 17, U.S. citizens and in good academic standing. They also need the permission of their parent or guardian and their principal.
Secretary Boockvar noted that many people had to fight for their voting rights. American women did not get suffrage until 1920. It didn’t become illegal to prevent someone from voting based on their race until the 1965 Voting Rights Act. And it wasn’t until the 26th Amendment to the Constitution passed in 1971 that the voting age was lowered from 21 to 18.
“Voting is a precious right we should never take for granted. Many of you have family members who have served in the armed forces to preserve that right,” she said. “People your age have the greatest stake in our country’s future, which will be decided at the polls. I applaud you for helping to register the next generation of voters and decision-makers.”