ACLU club holds voting event


courtesy Maya Lindvall

Leading up to midterms, first time voters were excited to participate in the voter registration drive held at SHS. This year’s voter registration took place October 6 during lunch in the LMC where the 18-year-olds of Shorewood High School were greeted by a festive scene of streamers, colorful decorations, and yellow informant cards. 

Entering the drive, students were met with a check-in stand, along with red, white, and blue balloons, and streamers decorating the area. Inside the room where the drive took place were stations for aiding in the registration process and celebrating the voters who successfully registered.

There were photo booths with props and candy bins for celebration, along with devices and paperwork for the eligible students to register.  

Jillian Beaster, president of the ACLU club, took charge of coordinating the event, along with members of the club.

 “We wanted to make it a fun atmosphere, like a party dare I say, to make it as fun as possible, because it [should be] enjoyable,” Beaster said. 

The League of Women Voters, an organization striving to advocate for improving and participating in systems of government, helped to organize the event. Judith Winn, a head outreach coordinator for the high school voter registration team, assisted the ACLU club in setting up the drive.

 “I came in and worked with the ACLU club and we talked about the different jobs,” Winn said. “We talked about the importance of voting, and why people don’t vote.”

The League of Women Voters is driven by encouraging those able to vote. 

“We wanted to make it a fun atmosphere… because it [should be] enjoyable.”

— Jillian Beaster, junior

“We’re really trying to get people out and interested in voting,” says Winn. “We have a lot of power with the vote, and the League really wants people to use that power.”

Members of the ACLU club put up posters and spread information around the school leading up to the event. Eligible members of the club also registered themselves to vote at the event. 

“We started two weeks ago, just talking about the importance of voting, especially high schoolers because they’re the demographic that has the lowest turnout in recent history in particular,” Beaster said.

Beaster explained the roadblocks faced for high school voters, and stressed the significance of holding a registration at the high school. 

“One of the main reasons that 18 year olds don’t vote is because they just don’t know how, or where it is, and don’t know where to register,” Beaster said. “[Having it at the school] is easier, it’s more accessible, and people will help out and inform you if need be.”

The goal of the event was to educate students on the impact of voting and the civic responsibilities Americans have, and to help enable students to take part in democracy. 

“[Voting] is such an easy right we have, and just so important, because it will affect our futures as this new generation who’s going to have to change a lot of things,” Beaster said.

Many eligible students hesitate to vote because of accessibility or nerves, which was one of the factors the ACLU chapter took into account when organizing the drive.

“Bringing it to the high school, it just cancels out a lot of stuff because you have your peers there to help you, and that just relieves a lot of stress,” Beaster said.