Seniors organize voting registration booth


Davis Marks/Chronicle

Upper school students crowd around the booth outside Chalmers to complete their registration and receive Dunkin’ Donuts, with their Social Security numbers in hand.

Lucas Cohen-d'Arbeloff and Chloe Park

Several upper school students affiliated with the organization Redefy California ran a booth for peers to register or pre-register to vote Tuesday. They offered donuts to each student who participated on the Quad.

Emma Valle ’22, Sofia Li ’22, Avi Carson ’22  and News Editor Josh Silbermann ’22 ran the booth on behalf of Redefy California, Valle’s nonprofit organization which seeks to advance equality, eliminate discrimination and register more young voters. Pre-registration, a service offered in California for 16 and 17-year-olds, allows teens to be automatically registered to vote on their 18th birthday.

Valle said she enjoyed playing a role in guiding other students into the state’s democratic process.

Students line up by the voting registration booth. (Chloe Park/Chronicle)

“I personally think [the booth] went very well,” Valle said. “It made me realize a lot of people were completely interested in and willing to pre-register or register once they knew how simple it was, so it was really nice to take part in that experience for others.”

After pre-registering to vote, Porter Comstock ’22 said it was gratifying to take a step toward participating in elective government soon before becoming an adult.

“It feels good to take part in the democratic processes of our country,” Comstock said. “Unless, of course, you are a politician or an activist, voting is the way for anyone to give their input and influence their country’s future. I turn 18 in eight days, so I am excited that I will have the opportunity to vote in the next election.”

Upper school history teacher Hijoo Son said the pre-registration system has the potential to engage citizens in political processes at an early age.

“I think [the booth was] wonderful,” Son said. “I believe that voter pre-registration could be instrumental to more participatory democracy, which is what this country needs in order [to maintain] its existence.”

All students interested in pre-registering can also do so online on the California Secretary of State’s website.