by Alyssa Enriquez, staff writer
Mid-term elections in Colorado are being held on November 8th. With the elections less than a month away, what are local high schools doing to help and prepare their students for local elections?
It turns out, nothing. Within District 49, 11, 20, and 2, no high schools report any active events or voter-education outreach. Some high school seniors can vote in the upcoming elections, and many are not even registered. Many have no interest in voting. So, what can high schools do?
Katy Swann, a high-school counselor at Spring Studio for Academic Excellence mentioned how in 2020 during the presidential election, the school did a mock election. They set up an election center and had their students go through the process of entering and filling out a ballot. Swann said it’s important to continue events, though the school hasn’t done so yet. “[We should] revisit doing an event like this in regards to our local and state elections,” she said.
All high schools should have a similar event to the one that was held at Spring Studio for Academic Excellence during every election. This is a good way for students to understand the voting process and to view what a ballot looks like.
In 2004, the Colorado State Legislature passed a bill requiring all high-school students to pass a course in civics. This is the only state graduation requirement. Civics is an important class that helps educate students to understand the basics of how the government works. The state passing this law is very beneficial to students to get a basic understanding of our government. However, the state should further examine passing another law requiring an additional class such as a U.S government or an economics class. This way high school students can further their education about the government in order to become more educated voters.
Andrew Enriquez, a former student at D49 Falcon High school, mentioned how by taking a U.S government class is what encouraged him to register to vote. The teacher offered everyone in that class extra credit if they provided proof of them doing so. This is a great way to help encourage and prepare students.
Falcon High school sends out weekly update emails with information. All schools if they are not already doing so can also do the same. However, they can start dedicating a small paragraph including information about voting every week. This way students may see or may remind the parents to discuss this with the students.
It is time to help encourage students to vote and further their education on important topics being held in the ballot.