This article originally appeared in the Times Record.

By John Swinconeck

Oliver Smith and Eric Kousky are seniors at Brunswick High School where they serve in student government. Both are 17. Neither will turn 18 before November’s election. On Tuesday, however, they both said they have or will be registering to vote, regardless.

“It’s important, because once you’re 18, you have a say in everything that goes on in government,” Smith said. “It’s important to participate, especially voting.”

The League of Women Voters of the Brunswick Area held drives at Brunswick, Morse and Mt. Ararat high schools at assemblies, in classrooms and home rooms, and during lunch period.

Those that will be 18 by the time Nov. 4 rolls around will get their say on issues including placing limits on bear-baiting, to who they want for governor, and who should be on the school board.

“Every vote counts,” said Smith. “I think it’s very important to vote, not just along party lines, but for who you think will make the state a better place.”

BHS history teacher Pam Wagner remembers working on the Mike Dukakis campaign in 1988 after graduating from high school — the first election she was able to participate in.

“When we talk about voting in general, we talk about making your voice heard,” Wagner said. “You won’t get what you want if your voice is not heard. … Even in incidents when they fight a losing battle, you get so much experience.”

That’s especially important for high school juniors and seniors, Wagner said, who are reaching an age where they’re starting to form their own opinions on events.

Wagner said she would like to see more students become inter- ested in current events and in the election process.

Wagner said it was important that students take steps ahead of time to make sure they cast a ballot before the polls close Nov. 4.

Local residents may deliver voter registration cards to their city or town clerks by mail by Tuesday, Oct. 14. A mailed card must be accompanied by a photocopy of a document that indicates the resident’s identity and current address.

People may still register in person at the clerk’s office up to and including Election Day, according to the League of Women Voters of the Brunswick Area.

Absentee ballots can be obtained from the clerk’s office by making a request by Oct. 30.

“It’s really important to have a say in what you believe in. It’s what makes a democracy run effectively,” said Kousky.

Kousky said the registration drive is a first for Brunswick High School, which is something he thought was exciting.

Besides, Smith said, having already registered far ahead of the next election in which he’d be eligible to vote is one less thing to do.

jswinconeck@timesrecord.com

THE LEAGUE OF Women Voters of the Brunswick Area held drives at Brunswick, Morse and Mt. Ararat high schools at assemblies, in classrooms and home rooms, and during lunch period.

URL: 
http://lwv.org/content/voter-registration-drives-get-students-involved