OSSINING, N.Y. -- In an effort to get all younger residents to the polls this November, Senator David Carlucci (D – Rockland) recently held a voter registration drive at Ossining High School.
The drive was aimed at registering students eligible to vote as the country heads into another election year. Following the 2014 elections, it was determined that New York State had the fourth worst voter turnout in the country, with only 28.8 percent of voters going to the polls to exercise their right to vote.
According to the United States Census Bureau, individuals between the ages of 18-24 are among the least likely demographic to register to vote, with only 46.6 percent registering to vote.
"An engaged, informed electorate is essential for any democracy to exist. That starts with ensuring all eligible individuals are registered to vote, especially those who are 18 to 24-years-old. One way to accomplish this is by allowing New Yorkers to automatically register at the DMV, as well as allowing 16 and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote," said Carlucci. "By making it easier for students to sign up to vote, we will not only register more voters but engage a new generation of voters in our civic process. Every vote counts, but only by casting your ballot will all of our voices be heard by those we elect to represent us.”
Carlucci has sponsored legislation that would provide automatic voter registration through the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, as well as pre-register 16 and 17 year olds to vote when they obtain their drivers license, permit or other identification offered through the DMV.
At Ossining High School, 25 students registered to vote. In order to vote in the April 19 presidential primary, individuals must register with the Board of Elections in their county before March 25.
"It's really important because if you don't have good voting numbers, you’re not going to have the election turnouts that really represent the people and you're not going to have the legislation in the future that is what the people want, because they didn't vote for it," said Ossining High School student Michael Earle.