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Charlotte Amalie
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HomeNewsArchivesLack of Proper ID Hinders Student Voter Registration

Lack of Proper ID Hinders Student Voter Registration

April 29, 2008 — At a school voter-registration drive Tuesday at Country Day School, only two students approached the registrars — and they didn't have proper ID.
"A picture ID alone is not enough," said Dodson James, vice chairman of the St. Croix District Board of Elections. "It is important that the students have the proper ID to complete the process."
The Elections Board is targeting students ages 17 to 18. To register the student must have a current passport, a U.S. birth certificate or an original naturalization certificate.
The board is mandated by V.I. Code to hold voter registrations, James said. Usually held twice a year, in the spring and fall, the registrations are believed to help alleviate a rush before primaries and cutoff dates before registration for the general election.
"Generally we have had a lot of success with registration after a prelude event," James said, sitting behind the registration table at Country Day.
Voter Registration Expos have been held at public high schools, where students voice their concerns about not being heard. Students say politicians get elected, then forget the concerns of young people, according to James.
"By getting involved in the process and giving opinions, they can be taken seriously," he said. "At this time in history, young people are coming out in record numbers to become part of the political scene and vote. Young voters are energetic and innovative and get done what needs to be done."
For some reason, students in public schools seem to have a harder time getting proper ID from their parents, James said.
"I think a lot of our students wait until they get to college to register," said Diane Beresford, assistant to the head master at Country Day. "They are very concerned about voting for president, and they get that opportunity when they go to college."
Country Day School has worked with the Board of Elections for at least the past 15 years, Beresford said, and the registration has generally been fine.
"With parents' encouragement, and providing the proper documents, students can easily register in school," said Jacqueline Heyliger, board secretary.
Registration will continue from 11:50 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. Wednesday at Good Hope School. On Thursday the location is St. Joseph's High School from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., and Friday registration will take place from 9 to 10 a.m. at the Manor School.
Registration at schools is no just for students — the general public can register, as well.
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