- Leonard Middle School
FWISD Students Lead Voter Registration Efforts
This National Voter Registration Day, the Fort Worth ISD celebrates its high school students who are leading efforts to register voters for the November 3 general and special elections.
The students, some who are not yet eligible to vote themselves, have spent the last several months educating their peers about the importance of exercising one’s right to vote and how to become a registered voter.
MeKayla Cook, a senior at FWISD’s Dunbar High School, serves as one of seven high school organizers for National High School Voter Registration Day in North Texas, a local initiative focused on high school voter education, registration, mobilization and awareness. At 6:30 tonight, September 22, National High School Voter Registration Day in North Texas will host an Election 2020 Teen Talk webinar to raise voter registration awareness. Register for the event here.
Students at FWISD’s Paschal and Western Hills high schools are spearheading campus groups of Voice of the Empowered or V.O.T.E., Tarrant County student-run groups supported by March to the Polls, a nonpartisan group focused on increasing voter turnout in the 18-24 age demographic and educating young people about voter registration. V.O.T.E. groups on FWISD campuses in recent months have hosted a virtual town hall event on voting and social media campaigns.
Since August, MeKayla Cook has been reaching out to friends at Dunbar High and students at area high schools asking if they’re eligible to vote and educating them about how to do so. Although MeKayla’s efforts are focused in FWISD and Tarrant County, she said she’s gathered a team of students from Lancaster High School, Westlake Academy, Hockaday School in Dallas, North Crowley High School, and Central High School in Fort Worth to help push this initiative within their own schools.
“This November election will be a historic one,” MeKayla said. “The message I’d like to send to my peers is, ‘don’t you dare let anyone, including yourself, convince you that your voice, your vote doesn’t matter.
“You CAN determine your future by deciding who YOUR leaders will be... I am here to tell you that you are capable of pushing the changes you want to see in your community. Not voting equals silence, and silence changes nothing.”
MeKayla said that she’s also building a partnership with Voice of the Empowered (V.O.T.E.) to get word about voter registration.
Last week, V.O.T.E. groups across the county mobilized to host Empowerment Week, a social media campaign encouraging young people and their families to register to vote. The weeklong social media event included daily giveaways. For more details, visit www.mttp.vote.
Celebrated the fourth Tuesday of every September since 2012, National Voter Registration Day is a nonpartisan observance that encourages Americans to register to vote and educates them on how to participate on Election Day. Nationwide, events are planned in-person and online to increase voter participation in the November 3 election.
Texans who want to be eligible to vote in the November 3 general and special elections must submit their voter registration documents no later than Monday, October 5.
Three weeks remain before early voting begins in Texas. Registered Texas voters can vote early October 13-30. Election Day is November 3.
View the early voting schedule and locations for Tarrant County here.