By ARIANA APOSTOL
Eligible UHS students registered to vote this past Wednesday and Thursday’s Office Hours. The registration was run by the Junior State of America (JSA), Voter Involvement Association and Youth Action Team (YAT) clubs. Students who will turn eighteen by the next presidential election were able to register at stations in the Junior and Senior lot.
“It’s imperative that teens become involved in politics because politics controls our society,” said JSA Co-Chapter President Safina Motiwala (Sr.).“We are the future leaders of this country which means that we will be making all the laws and policies. If teens fight apathy now, this will ensure a better future for us as well as our future generations.”
UHS offers several clubs which encourage students to become politically involved, including JSA, Mock Trial, YAT, Speech and Debate and Model United Nations.
Voting allows individuals to voice opinions about their government and the decisions that will influence their future.
“It was an amazing experience to finally be able to register to vote,” said Yasmine Choroomi (Sr.). “I’ve been so excited to vote since I watched the inaugural speech for the first time in 5th grade. I can’t believe that at the next election my voice will finally be considered.”
Other UHS students, who will not be old enough to vote in the next presidential election, still look forward to having the opportunity in the future. “I want to register to vote because politics on all levels — local, state, and national — affect young people like me” said Abhi Sudarshana (Sr.), who was not old enough to register. “I think political participation and awareness is crucial.”
The drive that took place at UHS last week may very well be one of the last. California Governor Jerry Brown recently passed the New Motor Voter Act, which will go into effect on January 1 of 2016. This legislation automatically registers anyone with a driver’s license to vote.
Supporting the Act, Secretary of State Alex Padilla said that “citizens should not be required to opt into their fundamental right to vote. We do not have to opt into other rights such as free speech or due process,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
This new piece of legislation aims to simplify the voting process and encourage more people to vote by eliminating much of the hassle.
UHS student voters will express political opinions unique to their time and their own views on the world, offering new perspectives to the American government with the ballots submitted.
The election will take place on November 4, 2016. The current Republican and Democratic front runners are Ben Carson and Hillary Clinton.