Registering a New Generation of Voters at CRLS


Allison Hunter Korn

History Club’s biennial voter registration drive.

Zareen Brown, Contributing Writer

The composition of the American electorate is changing, especially as millions of members of Generation Z reach the voting age. Moreover, the process and importance of voting have taken center stage in light of the 2020 presidential and congressional elections. In fact, research done by the Pew Research Center (PRC) suggests that almost 24 million Gen-Zers (people born between 1996 and 2012) reached the age of 18 before last November, “increasing the generation’s political clout … This raises the question of accessibility and how society can get students and younger people involved in local and national democracy.”

Generation Z is emerging as America’s newest voting generation; but what sets them apart from the rest of the American electorate? In upcoming elections, Generation Z will be voting in the context of a global pandemic, a reckoning with racial justice, and with unprecedented access to the news through internet and social media. According to the Pew Research Center, current polling and demographic data support this. The center explained the unique conditions and aspects of Generation Z by saying, “members of Gen Z are more racially and ethnically diverse than any previous generation, and they are on track to be the most well-educated generation yet.”

The COVID-19 pandemic specifically has influenced how Generation Z views the world around them, including the modern political landscape. Witnessing the stall of the American economy, family members losing their jobs, all while in isolation, has taken a toll on the generation’s mental health. In response to this, many students, including those at CRLS, have taken to politics.

The CRLS History Club has a central mission of informing Rindge students about their ability to influence both local and national elections.

The CRLS History Club has a central mission of informing Rindge students about their ability to influence both local and national elections. The club set up a voter registration drive that club co-leader Isla Mitchell ’22 believes is vital to the CRLS community. Mitchell told the Register Forum, “Students need to register to vote because being involved in what’s happening politically is important if you want to make a change in the world … every US citizen can accomplish their goals through the people they elect.” The club mobilizes all CRLS students who are 16 or older to register or pre-pregister to vote in Massachusetts using the last four digits of their Social Security Number or RMV. The voter registration drive took place every Thursday and Friday (10/08-10/22) outside the main entrance. The History Club aimed to register as many as possible while also emphasizing the importance of political action.

Generation Z is the newest addition to the American voting base. Registering to vote is a step toward involvement in the political sphere. The more young people are educated on the importance of voting, the better hope America many have for a positive political future.

This article also appears in our October 2021 print edition.