Politics For Teens: Voters Registration


On Friday, March 31st, Politics For Teens hosted their first voter registration event, which focused on getting students ready to vote for upcoming local elections. Approximately six student officials participated in the event, which included local political leaders as well as members of the Politics for Teens club.

“Local elections were coming in and we felt as a team that not enough people were going out to vote in our next local election, both city council and school board, so we wanted to change that,” Rizwan Khan, Junior Co-Founder of Politics For Teens, said.

Prior to this event, local politics hadn’t seemed as much of a concern for the usual members of Politics for Teens, in comparison to international discourse.

“Well, it has to do with the news. Not many people knew about the [school board and city council] elections going on. But I think we [Politics for Teens officers] sat down and reflected like, ok, there’s something in PISD that we don’t like, something added or not added and then realized that students have the most voice and also it’s another way to just ease people into civic engagement because at the end of the day, the schools we go to, the houses we live in, the gyms we use are all decided by our local governing bodies. So we thought by telling people how it’s interconnected with their lives, it would get more people to vote,” Katie Chou, Junior Officer of Politics For Teens, said. 

Two local government officials attended and spoke at the event: City council member Rick Smith and School Board Vice President Nancy Humphrey came to emphasize the importance of local politics to students. 

“I thought having local representation was pretty cool overall because I honestly had not known about our local politics beforehand, so I thought the event was pretty cool in that aspect.” said Junior David Cui. 

In a country where voting numbers are only 62%, Politics For Teens had wanted to ensure those numbers went up. 

“We’re just so exposed to the news that we think that as minors, there’s nothing we can do, but as mentioned earlier, voting is what solves our issues because if you don’t vote, issues won’t be addressed. Your voice will not be heard in Congress until you vote for the representatives who you think will speak the best for you,” Chou said. “So I think it’s important to know that young people have the smallest turnout rate, and if in the ‘50s and ‘60s [an increase in voter turnout by] black people could overturn an election, young people could do the same in the 21st century.” 

The Youth Voter drive also included three student panelists:Srjana Srivasta, Pranav Kalakuntla, and Medhansh Kashyap. They brought up the significance of debate in the context of politics. 

“People need to just go and try to open people’s minds to more than just their own perspective. That’s really our club’s mission statement at the end of the day,” Khan said.

The event turned out  a success with members, new and old, seemingly engaged in it. 

“I learned about how important it truly is to pay attention to not only national politics but local politics as well,” Ryan Lin, junior, said.

“It’s a starting point into the future for us. We’re hoping to expand to more campuses as our next goal because we established our foothold here and now there’s nothing to do now but grow,” Khan said.