Senior Sophia Ebel helped students register to vote during Uni Period on Monday Feb. 5 as part of her senior project, an internship with her dad’s congressional campaign, Jon Ebel for Congress.
“[Voter registration is] something I’m doing at Uni, and I’ve also been working with other high school students in the area,” she says. These schools include Central, Urbana, and Centennial high schools.
So far, Ebel has helped twenty people register to vote. “And I’m hoping to get even more,” she says.
There’s a lot that Ebel thinks students should know about voter registration. In an email sent to the school, she said that if you turn 18 by Nov. 6, 2018, you are eligible to vote in the primary election on March 20, 2018.
Additionally, people with a driver’s license can just text “register” to (760)-354-8999. People without a license can either print the registration forms and then take it to the County Clerk’s office, or give it to Ebel at school by February 20.
“The process is super simple and can be completed in less than 10 minutes,” Ebel explains.
The initiative is new to Uni, but Ebel thinks it’s an important one.
According to the U.S. Elections Project and the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), voter turnout was 58 percent in the 2016 presidential election, and 50 percent for people ages 18-29.
“Voter turnout in the US is a lot lower than I think it should be,” Ebel says. “And especially younger people don’t vote and are underrepresented in the election results. So it’s really important that younger voters in particular take advantage of their right to vote.”