Teens can ensure their voices are heard by pre-registering to vote



I am dismayed each time I see high school students protesting for something essential that earlier generations enjoyed and took for granted … and now deny to younger generations.

Sadly, most often I see high school students protesting for a safe school environment in the wake of a shooting at their school; and most recently, I see Yelm’s school children protesting against the inadequate funding that is leading to the layoff of 220 of their teachers. 

I applaud these students for wanting a decent and full education, and I want them to know they can powerfully amplify their voices by highlighting that they are near voting age and are eager to use the power of their vote. 

I urge students to prominently include as part of their protests that they are registering and pre-registering to vote. In Washington state, 16- and 17-year-olds can pre-register to vote, which ensures that they will be mailed a ballot for the first election in which they are 18. If a person has a Washington State ID, it is easy to register to vote or to pre-register to vote at VoteWA.gov. Students who are already 18 should be sure to register to vote at VoteWA.gov and to keep their address up-to-date on the site to ensure that their ballot is mailed to their current address.

Paula Rotondi