Preparing for The Polls
Mike Breske, a Social Studies teacher at Mishawaka High School (MHS), helps students eighteen and older register to vote in an event called the Voters Registration Drive. Breske and his fellow department members have been doing this for many years but he said that the event started seeing better results about ten years ago.
“We have successfully registered 98% of the 2018 seniors and approximately 40% of the juniors”, said Breske. Breske believes that registering students to vote is his civic duty. “I think that we are failing our students by not teaching them and informing students as to the importance of voter participation,” said Breske. Breske is the head of the department and its a priority to see that the department stresses the importance of being involved with the community.
(image provided by google)
“The more they hear it and the more we stress it, students will want to participate,” said Breske,” I stress politics and current events in my daily lessons.”
Brody Robinett, a junior at MHS, registered to vote through the school. “It was by far the easiest and most convenient way to register,”said Robinett. He found the form to be really easy to fill out and didn’t need help with it. “I was extremely excited when I found out I would get to vote,” said Robinett. The registration drive gave students a chance to be aware of what is happening around them. “I probably would have never even registered if it wasn't for the school, because I didn't know I was eligible,” said Robinett.
Ashley Russo, a senior at MHS, decided to take the opportunity to register at the school. “It was really easy to register through the school,” said Russo. “I wanted to because I know how important it is and it makes me feel like an adult,” Russo said. She said she would have registered eventually. “I probably would have put it off a lot before I actually registered so it was a convenient way to do it at the school,” said Russo.
According to civicyouth.org, 46 million young people (ages 18 to 29 year olds) are eligible to vote while 39 million seniors are eligible to vote. The website said that the young population make up 21% of the voting eligible population in the U.S. As of 2016 approximately 50%of eligible young people voted in the general election, similar to the calculated numbers of 2012. The youth electorate was diverse as a general youth population, and as the youth voting population in recent elections: 61% White, 15% African-American, 17% Latino, five percent Asian-American, and three percent other.