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County’s Election Services brings voting experience to YUHSD students

Local high school students are casting votes for their 2022-2023 student council thanks to the Yuma County Election Services Office. For the second year, Election Services has teamed with Yuma County school districts to provide students with a “Vote Center Experience” to get them excited about voting.

“We are very excited to be back at our local high schools this year to continue the Vote Center Experience,” explains Yuma County Elections Director Tiffany Anderson. “This hands-on exercise is valuable in demonstrating the importance of participating in our democracy and educates the students on what to expect the first time they vote in a regular election. We hope this experience generates enthusiasm about voting that carries into their adult lives.”

Working closely with the schools, Election Services is using student information to check them in on electronic voting poll pads using their Student ID Cards to satisfy the voter identification requirement. Once checked in, students vote on electronic ballot-marking devices and tabulate their voted ballots with the Vote Center tabulators. The entire process mimics an actual local, State or federal election.

“We would like to familiarize our young people with the electoral process from voter registration to casting a ballot so that we can encourage each young adult to actively participate in exercising the right to vote at the earliest opportunity,” says Yuma County Recorder Robyn Stallworth Pouquette. “An educated voter is more likely to engage in local, state, and federal elections throughout their lifetime and I believe that starts at a young age.  What better chance than the student body choosing their respective student council representation in campuses across Yuma County?  We are extremely proud of the program and hope to grow it moving forward.”

This immersive experience is designed to help young people become more engaged with the election process, as voters and volunteers. Voter Services staff are also available to answer questions and register eligible students and staff to vote. In Arizona, 16- and 17-year-olds can pre-register to vote as long as they will turn 18 by the next general election. Many current high school juniors and seniors will be eligible to vote in this year’s 2022 Gubernatorial Election. 

"As they have in past years, Yuma County's Election Services and Elections Director Tiffany Anderson stepped up to support our Student Council elections for the 2022-23 school year,” said Superintendent Gina Thompson, Yuma Union High School District. “This is one creative way to help educate our students, and also provide them a professional setting for their campus elections. Voting matters, and any time we can get young people excited about their role in the election process and making informed decisions, it is a win for not only Yuma, but the future of our state and country."

Below is the list of schools’ election dates:

•    Cibola High School – Friday, April 8
•    San Luis High School – Monday, April 11
•    Gila Ridge High School – Thursday, April 21 
•    Kofa High School – Monday, April 25