The League of Women Voters of Palo Alto announced to the Palo Alto Board of Education on Tuesday night that the organization has significantly surpassed last year’s totals of registering eligible voters in the city’s schools — adding nearly 1,000 teens to the voter rolls.
League representatives visited almost two dozen Paly classes — and many more at Gunn High School and other local schools — to encourage students to register to vote. The non-partisan League provided registration forms, gave advice and answered questions, allowing Paly students to register with all the information needed.
On Tuesday night, co-chairs and voter servicers Jean Lythcott and Kathy Miller spoke to the PAUSD board about their success and the numbers of this year’s Paly and Gunn registrations.
“We visited 46 classrooms, 23 in each school,” Miller said to the board. “League of Women Voters registered 691 PAUSD students…[and] also registered 276 students at local independent schools this year.”
In past years, The League of Women Voters has set up tables on the Quad at Paly to register students and reached a maximum of 30 to 50 students in total from both high schools, Lythcott said.
In order to work towards a goal of registering 100 percent of eligible teens this year, they reached out to Paly’s journalism programs and eventually went on to Social Studies classes.
“At Paly, we started our project in the fall by approaching journalism teachers Paul Kandell and Rod Satterthwaite,” Miller said. “They welcomed us into their class and even let us appear on InFocus.”
The League of Women Voters outreach to classrooms was well-received as students, between the ages of 16 and 18, took advantage of this time to register and pre-register.
“I thought it was very helpful because this was something I wanted to do for a while and wasn’t sure how to go about doing it on my own,” senior Cecilia Ward said. “It was really nice for them to come into our class and do it very easily.”
Due to this year’s success, The League of Women Voters will continue to visit individual classrooms and encourage students to register to vote and use their ballot to make the change they wish to see in the future. They are also continuing to work before the November election to reach their goal of 100 percent of PAUSD students eligible to vote.