PROVIDENCE, R.I. – More than 100 students registered to vote during a visit to Lincoln High School by Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis as part of an initiative designed to get more young people to the polls in 2012.
“Students who register to vote are more likely to become active citizens. Some of these young people will be tomorrow's leaders. Now is the time to engage them,” said Ralph Mollis.
Mollis kicked off the visit by taking questions from students after talking with them about the importance of public service and voting.
The drive took place in the school's cafeteria, where students crowded the Secretary of State's table during lunch. While 103 registered to vote, others had questions about how to vote and upcoming elections.
The stop at Lincoln High School was a partnership with the state Board of Elections, school administrators and local officials. Lincoln Town Clerk Karen Allen and Steve Quick from the state Board of Elections joined Mollis at the event.
“I am grateful to our partners for their commitment to this important initiative. Our success will pay dividends for decades to come as these youngsters exercise their right to vote election after election,” Mollis said.
Mollis plans to visit every Rhode Island high school leading up to the 2012 elections. In order to register, students must be U.S. citizens, residents of Rhode Island and at least 18 years old by Election Day 2012.
“An informed electorate is the keystone of democracy. I hope our visit produced a new generation of voters and citizens committed to making their voices heard,” said Mollis.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, only 59 percent of eligible 18-to-24-year-olds were registered to vote on Election Day 2008. Just 49 percent actually voted in that election.
The Secretary of State’s office prepares the ballots for all federal, state and municipal elections held in Rhode Island. In addition, the office maintains the state’s central voter registration system and distributes handbooks that explain how to run for office, how to register to vote and how to vote.
Secretary of State Mollis is committed to making it easier to vote, helping businesses grow and making government more open and accessible. Students who missed the voter registration drive are still in luck. They can find voter registration forms and answers to frequently asked questions at sos.ri.gov.
Media Contact: Chris Barnett at 222-4293 or firstname.lastname@example.org.