Benedict News Online

27 Students Register to Vote

Obed Narcisse, Managing Editor

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Twenty-seven new voters will participate in the upcoming election November 8 thanks to the efforts of Dean of Freshmen Glenn Cassidy, Dean of Faculty Michelle Tuorto and members of the National Honor Society.

Mr. Cassidy discussed the importance of voting with the student body during Convocation. ¨The people that setup the systems intentionally restricted people of color, women, non-land owners, even lower-class white people from participating in the government or even electing the government,” he said. “It has taken many, many years for us to get to the point where most people now have the right to participate in government and in the election of government. Because of that, it is extremely important that people exercise that right.”

Afterward, Dean of Faculty and Co-Adviser of the National Honor Society Michelle Tuorto organized a voter registration table on October 13 to help students register to vote.

Mrs. Tuorto believes that organizing this event was essential in “removing one impediment to voting–not knowing how to register to vote.”  

The State of New Jersey voter registration forms were downloaded. Students signed the forms and returned them to the National Honor Society table in the cafeteria. Then, Axell Sanchez ´13 took the forms to the Essex County Hall of Records. In total, 27 students registered to vote.

Mr. Cassidy said registering to vote can lead to more civic engagement.  

“If one of the impacts is that people registering to vote leads them to watch the debates, leads them to do research on candidates, or leads them to understand more about systems of justice or injustice, I think that’s a great impact.”

Mrs. Tuorto said the voter registration opportunity is an important step in helping current students exercise their civic duty.

“A lot of people say one voice doesn’t count, one vote doesn’t count, but again if everyone said that, especially everyone from a group fighting for a certain cause or for a certain representation, you would lose the ability to have that cause or that representation addressed,” she said.

Students also understand the importance of voting. Senior Mike Aguirre, who helped Mrs. Tuorto organize the event, said this voter registration drive is aimed at helping students “realize that they have a voice in this country…”

Senior Atoy Smith said voting allows an individual to “have your own say in who gets to run the country I live in.” Additionally, Mike said “voting allows the people to partake in choosing the people who they believe will contribute the most to the country.”

Mrs. Tuorto said a democracy needs everyone to participate.

“If everyone was nonchalant, we would lose that representation.”

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27 Students Register to Vote