Sacred Heart Cathedral's student-run newspaper. We've got issues.

The Emerald

Sacred Heart Cathedral's student-run newspaper. We've got issues.

The Emerald

Sacred Heart Cathedral's student-run newspaper. We've got issues.

The Emerald

Vote! (Or Register!)

Eva Salgado ’24
Members of Advocacy in Action (Eva Salgado ‘24, Logan Graves ‘24, Ethan Arguello ‘24, Zachary Thomas ‘24) pass out Voter Registration forms to eligible students.

With a national voting age of 18, opportunities for high school students to get involved in local, state, or national elections seem limited. But are they really? As the 2024 presidential elections quickly approach, pre-voting registration is a surefire way to prepare and ensure a ballot on Election Day.

In the state of California, pre-registration for voting begins as early as 16. A government ID and proof of California residency is all one needs to submit the forms that allow voters to effectively attend the nearest polling place once 18. By pre-registering in advance, prospective voters can be automatically registered on their 18th birthday, streamlining Election Day processes, and preventing stressors directly preceding ballot casting. 

However, there is often confusion surrounding early registration, whether it comes from a lack of knowledge about how to actually register, or even the idea that “one vote won’t matter” in the grand scheme of the election results. For high schoolers especially, learning about voter registration is the most important step!

The Emerald sat down with Eva Salgado ‘24, president of Advocacy in Action CCC, to discuss the importance of registering to vote, even as a high school student. 

Why did you feel it was important to register to vote as soon as you were able?

The right to vote is one that we hold near and dear to our hearts as Americans, so taking the initiative of registering as soon as you are eligible is super important. In the US, the decision to vote is completely optional, but the act of registering is the burden of the voter. In California, registering to vote is easy and accessible. It takes a minute of your time and brings you one step closer to being eligible to make your voice heard at the polls!

What do you think is the most challenging aspect of the voting registration process?

Across the country, many Americans lack the resources or knowledge of how to get registered. The process requires a social security number, driver’s license, passport, or other forms of identification that not all may have. Some states require voters to register months in advance of an election, which becomes inconvenient as it can easily slip one’s mind. In California, however, we enjoy same-day registration which alleviates some of the burdens of registration.

If SHC students are still too young to vote or even register, what can they do to get involved in upcoming elections?

A lot! The first step is to be aware of what is on the ballot. You don’t need to be an eligible voter to be informed and aware of what’s going on. Watch local television, read the news, and learn about the issues on the ballot. Or, if someone in your household is a registered voter, they’ll receive a lengthy booklet in the mail that includes key information about candidates, propositions, and legislation. Take some time to skim through that and get acquainted with what’s going on!

A pillar of the SHC community is dedication to uplifting diverse opinions and backgrounds of the student body. To preserve these democratic ideals outside of campus, students can turn to voting in elections, but also getting involved in election discourse!

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About the Contributor
Kate Cassidy '24
Kate Cassidy '24, Editor-in-Chief
Kate is so excited to be serving as Editor-in-Chief of the Emerald in her senior year. Aside from the Emerald, she is involved in student council, theater, choir, and the DePaul Scholars program at SHC. She loves going to concerts and searching for the best SF brunch spot, but you can also find her curled up reading a good book!

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