WHITTIER – Santa Fe High School students received an opportunity to join the democratic process during a National Voter Registration Day rally on Sept. 19, hosted in partnership with Assemblywoman Blanca Pacheco.
Pacheco, who oversees California’s 64th District, which includes the City of Santa Fe Springs, urged Chieftain students to stay informed and get involved. Santa Fe High students also welcomed Whittier Union Board Vice President Gary Mendez, Board Member Dr. Russell Castañeda Calleros, Superintendent Dr. Monica Oviedo and Deputy Superintendent Kevin Jamero to campus during the event.
“This is an extraordinary way to give back to your community,” Pacheco said. “Registering to vote is an important duty; It’s a civic duty. You get to elect people to represent you, but the first step is to register. Tell your family, and tell your friends, because you can make an impact.”
During the event, nearly three dozen Santa Fe High students registered to vote or filled out paperwork to ensure they are “Vote Ready” when they turn 18 years old.
Santa Fe High seniors Katherine Hibner and Leonardo Corella were among the first students to visit the registration booth and said they were excited to join the political process. Students filled out forms and asked questions of the volunteers. Santa Fe Associated Student Body President Kaylie McMillen stressed the importance for young voters to be more active in the process.
“We are a community of young people. It’s important to voice our opinions and advocate for issues that concern us,” McMillen said. “Young people have different needs than those of older voters. Registering to vote is the best way for us to let our voices be heard.”
California law allows citizens to pre-register to vote as early as 16 years old. California youth who pre-register to vote will have their registration become active once they turn 18 years old. Pre-registration does not change the voting age, which is 18.
“Whittier Union is collaborating with key elected officials that represent our area communities at the local and state levels to encourage voter registration,” said Board of Trustees Clerk Josefina E. Canchola, who represents Trustee Area 3. “We want to ensure that we, as a cohesive comunidad, take an active part in the democratic process. Voting is one of the highest privileges and rights as Americans, and our hope is to ensure that those who can vote, do.”
WUHSD_VOTER1: Santa Fe High School students show off their “I Voted” stickers after filling out their voter registration forms during a National Voter Registration Day event on Sept. 19.
WUHSD_VOTER2: Santa Fe High School students are all smiles after speaking with volunteers and filling out paperwork to be “Vote Ready” during a National Voter Registration Day event on Sept. 19.