Government teacher Sophia Alvarez organized a voter registration drive for Booker T. Washington students in early February.
“I am always telling them to become civically engaged and how important it is to vote, so I thought it was time I modeled that civic engagement,” she said.
February 7th was the deadline to register to vote in the March 3rd primary. Sophia got the word out through posters and morning announcements that students could register to vote in her classroom. She also let them know that they can register when they are 17.5 so they will be ready to vote when they turn 18.
“People trickled in during the day, as well as during activity period. I had them complete the form and address and stamp the envelope. Most of them had never sent a letter before, so I taught them where the stamp and address go. This demonstrates another huge barrier to voting in Oklahoma, especially for young people,” she said.
Seniors Ryan Barnett and Helen Fullerton volunteered to help her with the campaign.
“They were indispensable because they went around the school to all the activities during activity period, getting seniors to complete forms and helping them to address them,” she said. “In the end, with Ryan and Helen’s help, we registered 75 students to vote! This far exceeded my goal of 20-25. I delivered the forms to the post office that afternoon.”
Sophia said they plan to have another drive in the spring so students have another chance to register before the general election.
“I hope for 100% of BTW seniors to be registered before they graduate,” said Sophia.
For more information on registering to vote in Oklahoma, click here.