Voter Services Gets HipBy Pam Maldonado

14,000 public high school students will graduate this year, but we will not be able to do our traditional Senior Checkout Day voter registration events.  In the past, we’ve registered over 900 students by being on campus as the kids picked up their caps and gowns during a frantic week before graduation.  In the age of Covid, the question is how do we reach them?

Last year, in cooperation with the District, we sent out 18,000 emails to all grads with instructions on how to register to vote.  Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing how many actually registered, but we suspect that the result was very poor.

What’s clear is that the younger generation prefers to do everything online, so this year we have created a QR code that takes you directly to the voter registration website without touching a form or a pen.  We will at least be able to see how many people actually opened the link, though we won’t know how many completed the registration.

Graphic designer par excellence, Virginia Savietto, and I tried to come up with a flyer that would be an attention grabber- but we were at a loss for the wording.  A quick call to Greenacres Community Center got us an afternoon meeting with their Hot Spots teen group.  We conducted a focus group with around 15 teens from 14-18.  “How do you guys say ‘cool’?”  “How do you greet each other, or what do you say when you send a text?”  An hour and a half later we came away with the wording.

Virginia designed a colorful flyer with catchy wording and eye-catching fonts.  We hope for a much better result this year.

Exciting news!  We have had a request from John I. Leonard High School for the flyers in Creole and Spanish.  It’s the largest high school in the county and has a minority student population of around 85%.  They have asked for copies of the registration form to be attached to each flyer for students to take home to their family, so hopefully, we’ll get other family members registered, too.

Our Team Leaders will be busy distributing the flyers to schools across the county during the first week of May.

You can try out the QR code, too.  Simply scan it with the camera function on your smartphone and click the link that appears.  You’ll go straight to the voter registration site.  Please encourage friends and family to use this function—especially young people.  Try filling out the form yourself to request a replacement Voter ID card.