(802) 828-2148 May 14, 2002
Secretary of State Markowitz and Vermontís
May is National High School Voter Registration Month
Montpelier. Today, Vermont Secretary of State Deb Markowitz and representatives of Student Councils from around the state cast a vote in favor of National High School Voter Registration Month, and urged students to register to vote at their schools. Secretary Markowitz said, "I applaud the student council association for their efforts to ensure that our 18-year-old students register to vote."
Markowitz announced that student councils who register the most voters in their school will receive "Smack Down Your Vote" t-shirts from her office. "Smack Down Your Vote" is a project of the National Association of Secretaries of State, the National Association of Women Legislators and the World Wrestling Federation designed to encourage young people to vote.
"Voter participation nationwide is on a steady decline, particularly among our youth," said Secretary Markowitz. "It is an even greater concern for Vermont. While we are proud that our voter turnout rate is one of the highest in the nation, we lag other states in the participation of our young people."
The reason Vermontís youth turnout rate is lower than the national average may be that Vermont is the only state to require a voter to take an oath before a Notary Public in order to be eligible to vote. This makes it difficult for young people who leave Vermont for college or for temporary employment to register and vote by mail.
Wearing his "Smack Down Your Vote" Tshirt, Student Council Association Vice President Joshua White, a senior from Williston said, "we are asking schools across Vermont to participate in this important effort by registering their high school seniors because we hope to reach kids before they leave the state for college." Joshua White, a senior from Groton added, "this is a way we can let our friends know that voting is important Ė we can really make a difference if we take the time to register and vote.
Students who will be at least 18 years old on Election Day can now register to cast their ballots in November. Vermont voter registration forms are available on line at www.sec.state.vt.us. This will make voter registration quick and easy for our cyber-savvy generation of students. To register, students must fill out the voter registration form and then take the "voters oath" before a Vermont notary public. Once a student is registered and has taken the oath, they may vote in Vermont even if they have left the state for college or employment by requesting an absentee ballot.
"High school registration has the potential to increase youth involvement in the democratic process by making voter participation easy," said Nick Landsman-Roos, a Senior at Burlington High School
Need help with a web site technical issue?
Questions regarding this page's content?
Please Contact us.