JUNEAU - "Ready 2 Vote," a voter registration drive for 18-year-olds sponsored by the Juneau School District and the League of Women Voters of Juneau increased the number of young voters in Juneau by 35 percent.
Fifty-nine 18-year-old voters were registered by League volunteers in about six hours between May 26 and June 2. The drive exceeded the district's goal of registering 50 newly-eligible young voters and increased the total number of 18-year-old voters in Juneau to 225.
"We are excited this short drive was so successful and we're grateful the League was willing to join forces with us to empower students to become active voters," said Laury Scandling, assistant superintendent of the Juneau School District. "'Ready 2 Vote' is one of many initiatives underway to educate all students for effective citizenship, a new five-year goal of the school district," Scandling said.
Other efforts include last November's "Youth Vote Juneau 2008," a review of the district's social studies curriculum, a recent online civics education survey of teachers, and planning for more initiatives involving students of all grade levels.
"Ready 2 Vote" was conducted at Juneau-Douglas High School during lunch hours, before and after the baccalaureate service and during the senior lunch. The League's Marjorie Menzi coordinated the registration process and members Hetty Barthel, Judy Andree and Dr. George Brown joined Menzi in serving as registrars.
All students were eligible to enter their name in a "Ready 2 Vote" prize drawing whether they registered to vote or not. A JDHS sophomore was the winner of a package of prizes donated by Southeast Waffle Company and Subway of Juneau.
The school district plans to conduct more "Ready 2 Vote" voter registration drives for 18-year-olds this fall and spring at various school sites.
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