This story was originally published by KHOU.
The League of Women Voters just wrapped up a week-long voter registration drive at HISD high schools during the district's first week back to school.
The group's goal is to motivate young voters to participate in November's midterm elections.
“I’m just amazed, there was just so much energy," said Dr. Annie Johnson-Benifield, President of the Houston Chapter of the League of Women Voters.
With friendly faces and flyers, the League of Women Voters went to the halls of HISD’s high schools to register students to vote.
“If they are 17 and 10 months before the election, they can go ahead and register as long as you are 18 in time for November 8," said Johnson-Benifield.
For her, it’s a personal mission.
“Part of civic education is to ensure the students have the education they need in order to make informed decisions selecting candidates," said Johnson-Benifield.
“It may be that an issue like abortion, student loans, even inflation, high gas prices affect young people far more than they affect older voters," said KHOU 11 political expert Bob Stein.
Regardless of why they want to register, Stein says the past two presidential elections have shown us young voters could be key to watch.
“Between 2016 and 2020, there was a 19% increase in the number of men and women between the ages of 18 and 24 that registered to vote in Harris County,” he said.
If the trend continues, Johnson-Benifield says the next challenge will be turnout, making sure all the students signing up in schools get to the polls this fall.
“If we want to continue for the midterm elections in 2022, voters have to get out, every person’s voice counts," she said.
The largest group of those newly registered young voters in Harris county are Hispanic. Stein says he’ll be watching the numbers closely to see if that holds true this fall.
The Latest from the League
In 2019, LWV of Houston volunteers registered more than 31,000 new citizens to vote. Here's how they did it.
The High School Voter Registration Project is a nationwide effort to encourage young people--especially young minorities--to register to vote.
The sooner we can start educating young people about our election and voting systems, the more empowered they will be to make their voices heard.