Voting Rights Club: Giving Students a Head Start


Members of Voting Rights Club make posters for an upcoming voter registration drive.

Caitlin Polesetsky, President

In an era in which digital news and social media-based activism reign supreme, teens nowadays are exposed to world politics and events like never before. Despite this, young people make up the lowest percentage of voters, with only about 50% of voters aged 18-29 voting in the 2020 election. This low number is still a drastic increase from the 2016 election, in which only 39% of voters from the same age group voted, according to a study by Tufts University. Though young people could be a large source of change within the United States, many remain untapped resources due to a lack of voter turnout. One student, senior Ilana Reyes, noticed the unused potential of her peers in political change and decided to do something about it by creating the Voting Rights Club.

A QR code commonly used by the Voting Rights Club which takes the user to a site to preregister to vote.

Voting Rights Club is a non-partisan club which seeks to encourage students to engage in their civic duty of voting. The club primarily works towards this goal by holding voter registration drives, in which students who are 16 and older can preregister to vote, aided by members of the Voting Rights Club. Members walk around campus with QR codes that students can easily scan with their phones, leading them directly to the website where they can preregister. Members are also available to help students start the process during lunch on the cafeteria patio. 

“One of our main focuses right now is getting people at least preregistered to vote, because when teens are preregistered, they are more likely to actually vote when they are 18,” says Reyes. “Young voters have the power to sway elections, even more than senior citizens who we often see holding lots of power when it comes to elections.”

Though the club is currently focused on getting students registered to vote, Reyes has expansive plans for the future. During the upcoming school year, she hopes to incorporate more education into her club, mainly informing students about different bills being passed through Congress related to voting rights, and education on voter suppression. She hopes that education on differing levels of access to voting in different communities will encourage students to create change.

“Especially with the upcoming midterm elections in November, we really want to help people learn about what they are voting for and encourage them to educate themselves so they know what they are voting for,” says Reyes. “One of the best ways people can advocate for what they want is by voting, so when I realized that there was a way for me to encourage people to vote on campus, I really wanted to do it.”

While Voting Rights Club mainly focuses on amplifying the voices of young people, Reyes encourages people of all ages to go out and vote, whether it be through a mail-in ballot, or by heading to the polls on Election Day. You can register to vote at, and if you’re a high school student looking to get involved with Voting Rights Club, you can find them on Instagram @votingrightsclub.cchs. The club meets in Room 44 on Wednesdays at Brunch. If you find yourself frustrated with the current state of the world and wish you could do something about it, use your power as a citizen and vote! It takes less than two minutes to get registered, and is one of the most effective ways to create real, direct change.