County leaders hope new initiative helps register high school students to vote
Luzerne County leaders are targeting a specific group of people ahead of May's primary elections.
Both Olivia Bellanco and Addison Orzel are active in student government at Wyoming Area Intermediate.
So, they think it's important for high school students to engage in politics inside and outside school.
"I think my generation is going to be the generation that's affected the most,” Bellanco said.
"Everyone has the thought of voting in the back of their mind. They know when you turn 18 you can vote, but everyone needs that little push. They need that encouragement,” Orzel added.
Luzerne County leaders hope to offer just that.
They're launching an initiative to get young people signed up to vote ahead of May's primary.
The county is partnering with districts to post flyers in schools across the area.
It lets them know how easy it is to register.
Of course: there's an app.
Students can text PA to 2VOTE and they’ll be given instructions how to sign up from their phone.
But they can fill out the old fashioned paper form as well.
"In light of recent events, the youth of today are feeling more energized than ever to get involved with the Democratic process. It's up to us now to make that as easy as possible,” Dave Pedri, Luzerne County Manager, said.
The recent events he's referring to are the community activism about gun control, especially among high school students, following the Florida school shooting earlier this month.
Orzel says that discussion has trickled down the halls of Wyoming Area.
"Everyone seems to have their own opinion and stance on the political issues and the social issues that just occurred in Florida,” she said.
The message county election leaders want to send: your vote does count.
"Those are our future lawmakers, they're are future poll workers, they're our voters. So, to reach out to them, especially now when you see the heightened awareness going throughout the nation, now is the time to let them know,” Marisa Crispell, Luzerne County Director of Elections, said.
County leaders tell us they plan to start delivering the flyers to the schools in our area beginning Monday.
If you think your school should be involved in the initiative -- have an administrator contact the county election office.