Voting for dummies

Jones seniors register to vote in time for midterm elections

Many seniors are turning 18 and facing the oftentimes mysterious and confusing voter 

registration process.

The 2022 midterm elections will take place on Nov. 8 and many eligible seniors have registered to vote in this election.

“Getting registered to vote is the most powerful thing you can do once you turn 18,” said Gabriel Willis ‘23. “I got registered to vote while I was getting my ID…I went to the DMV with a bunch of documents and was able to get it there.”

Jones and Columbia College held a voter registration drive during the school day and had student volunteers guide seniors through the process.

“The booth was set up and our job was essentially just to kind of scour the school for people who were eligible to vote. You just have them fill out a form with their personal information,” said Evelyn Ronan ‘24, a student who volunteered at the drive. 

Multiple students found these drives to be very beneficial in their registration process.

“I got registered here at school and honestly it was a little difficult because I needed my social security number and such,  it was a little long and tedious,” said Cosette Zielinski ‘23. “The volunteers were very helpful; if I had any questions, they were very informative.”

A number of volunteers at the drive also commented that registering to vote allowed students to vote in not just the midterms, but in other local elections as well.

“There’s so many elections that people don’t even know about that you can vote in as a high schooler at 17 or 18. For example, alderman elections,” said Ronan. “So register pretty much as soon as you can.”

A multitude of students share the sentiment that the voter registration process has been much more complicated than they expected.

“I’m not quite sure if I am registered to vote; I haven’t really been talked through the process,” said Molly Mettelman ‘23. “There’s nothing I’ve received from anybody to know how to, so I’m just not sure if I am.”

To prevent this type of confusion, some students chimed in and provided possible solutions.

“A lot of times when kids turn 18, and they’re still in high school, they are not sure about how to register to vote,” said Mettelman. “Schools can definitely do a better job of getting the word out on how to register to vote, which can increase the number of students participating.”

A volunteer at the Jones voter registration drive answered the question of what exactly is needed to register for numerous students.

“The form just consists of basic personal information like your home address and then you have to provide your ID or Driver’s License,” said Ronan. “After that it’s a relatively easy process; it takes five minutes on an online form.”

Additionally, Jones students have other options than just the voter registration drives to get registered.

“You can get registered to vote either at your nearest voting booth or online through the official website,” said Ronan. “You can look up voter registration and your city and the link will come up and you can upload all your information.”

Even though someone may not have the chance to vote immediately following their registration, several students find that it’s still useful to register as soon as you can.

“Even though it’s not binding, if you register to vote, you can still vote at any time and it’s not something you have to worry about at a later time,” said Zielinski. “If you don’t feel the need to vote, at least registering gives you the option to go back and vote if you want to.”

The students at Jones who are registered to vote offered prospective voters some advice on how to approach the voting process.

“I would just say do your research ahead of time, have your information on hand so you can go in prepared,” said Zielinski.

Although the voter registration process may seem lengthy and tiresome, countless students believe that it’s worth the struggle.

“Voting is important in order to make a difference in this country. Your vote matters and if you’re passionate about something you believe in then you should go out and vote. Vote for the people who’re going to accomplish what you believe in,” said Zielinski.