04/13/04 — Election Board takes registration to students

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Election Board takes registration to students

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on April 13, 2004 1:58 PM

Politics is joining the latest movies, music and TV shows as hot topics at local high schools as hundreds of seniors become eligible to vote this year.

The Wayne County Board of Elections has registered nearly 220 students during lunch-time drives this month, with several more scheduled next week.

A dozen people signed up at Faith Christian School Monday. That number represents nearly every student at the school who would be eligible to vote this year.

Faith Students register to vote

News-Argus/Matt Shaw

Wayne County Board of Elections conducted a voter registration drive at Faith Christian School on Monday. Signing up are, from left, Allison Scharadin, Lauren Stocks, Stefanie Jones and Kasey Lundquist.

Lauren Stocks, who turned 18 in March, said she was grateful to be able to register at her school.

"I want to able to voice my opinion," she said. "Now I can vote for the right man in office, and I think that man is President Bush."

Stefanie Jones believes it is important for people of faith to vote, she said. "We bring a Christian perspective, which is needed today."

The Faith Christian students have been actively discussing political issues and current events, particularly during their "World Views" classes, Principal Walter Sloan said. Registration allows the students to turn their ideas into action.

Many of the younger students are already envious about the older students, Sloan added. "The juniors have asked, 'Will the registration people be coming back next year?' They don't want to be left out."

The Board of Elections plans to make the school drives an annual event, given the success so far, Director Gary Sims said Monday afternoon. "We still have a couple of large schools to go, so we are hopeful we will go past 300."

Elections specialist Connie Kammler coordinated the scheduling of lunch-time drives at eight public schools and three private ones. Board staff and volunteers have teamed to staff tables to sign up students and answer questions.

The board had not held such drive in recent years, so it was hard to set a goal, she said last week. "We'll take as many as we can get."

Registration has now been held at Eastern Wayne High, Goldsboro High, Southern Academy, Southern Wayne High, Spring Creek High, Wayne Christian and Faith Christian schools.

They will sign up students at C.B. Aycock High School and Belfast Academy next Monday, followed by Wayne Country Day School on Tuesday and finally Rosewood High School on Wednesday.

Anyone who is already 18 or who will become 18 by Nov. 2, 2004, is qualified to vote in both the July 20 primary election and the November general elections.

In addition to the presidential election, Wayne County voters will also be voting for one U.S. Senate seat, two U.S. House races, the governor, two N.C. Senate races, three N.C. House seats, seven county commissioners, and three Board of Education seats, among other races. The actual races on any individual's ballot depends on districting.

Anyone with questions or interested in registering to vote can call Board of Elections at 731-1411 or go to its website, www.waynegov.com/boe.