Cedar Hill High Students Register More Than 50% Of Seniors To Vote

voter registration project
Cedar Hill High School Student Council President Bailey Byrd, pictured left, speaks with classmates during a voter registration drive on Wednesday morning.

Cedar Hill High School Students Organize Successful Voter Registration Project

Cedar Hill, TX – A group of Cedar Hill High School Student Council leaders and Linda Lamar, of the Dickerson Center for Civic Responsibility, collaborated for one of the most significant voter registration drives in the Best Southwest Region, on Wednesday morning at CHHS.

The result was 267 Cedar Hill High seniors registering to vote for the November 2020 Election, which accounted for 56 percent of the Senior Class. Students did not have to currently be 18 years old, but they have to turn 18 by November 3, 2020 (Election Day 2020).

Lamar credited CHHS’ marketing and student outreach with making the event a successful one.

“Cedar Hill High’s was the best,” Lamar said. “Most schools did not do the mass voter registration project but rather were done on a block scheduling basis.”

Last year, Lamar reached out to Cedar Hill Student Council Sponsors Amanda Laxson and Kenitha Carey about the project. On Wednesday, Laxson and Carey supervised a packed room near the gymnasium as Lamar and her team of volunteers registered high school seniors to vote.

A Civic Duty

“We definitely want the students to know that voting is their civic duty, and we want to encourage them to make decisions,” Carey said. “They have a voice, and their voice counts.”

While Lamar took the first step by reaching out, the Student Council Leadership planned the entire event, which included a prize raffle, snacks, a basketball tournament and a dance competition.

“We wanted to make it fun and inclusive,” Cedar Hill Student Council President Bailey Byrd sad. “I think it was a great turnout. There were way more kids than I thought there would be. If kids can get their voice heard in politics, it can make a difference.”

Cedar Hill Senior Class President Kiyah Turner echoed those sentiments.

“We wanted to make sure people were interested, and we wanted to make the idea of voting fun,” Turner said.

Senior student Joey Perry said it was important to register to vote on Wednesday.

“I really appreciate how they put this together,” Perry said. “We can register now. We don’t have to wait until we’re older.”

Plans To Host Another Drive In September Are In The Works

Lamar said her non-profit plans to host another voter registration drive at CHHS in September when members of the CHHS Class of 2021 will be eligible to vote.

For Lamar, voting rights is both important and deeply personal. Last month, she spoke to CHHS students about the challenges that her father faced as an African-American who tried to register to vote in 1950s Louisiana.

“My father, as a pioneer in voting in a small, rural Louisiana community in the 1950s was beaten for exercising his right to vote,” Lamar said. “Before the Voting Rights Act of 1965, it was almost impossible for some citizens to register and vote.”

“The voter registration project at Cedar Hill on Wednesday not only enhanced the leadership skills of student leaders but also increased the awareness and understanding of registering to vote as the first step in the political process. This was largely a peer-to-peer activity.”