Fifty-five 18 year olds take first step to vote in May 6 election


PHOTO Alyssa Trapp

Both with their eyes on their applications, seniors Luke Fralick and Thomas McWilliams fill in their voter registration forms. The process took approximately five minutes for the 18 year olds.

With the May 6 election approaching, the student council took measures to get as many 18 year old students registered to vote as possible.

Brought to their attention by Assistant Principal Laura Lemke, the student council became interested in hosting a voter registration for any FHS student or staff member who wanted to become a registered voter.

John Gleason, the county clerk of Genesee County, was contacted to see if he would be interested in attending the voter registration. As a result, the council set up a voter registration session during SRT on March 31 where students could become eligible voters for the upcoming election under the supervision of the Gleason and Principal Mark Suchowski.

“Well humans are creatures of habit and once you establish the habit of voting you will take it throughout your life,” Gleason said. “I’d like to see 100 percent participation with voters. One of the most important things young people can do is respect the different views of our citizens and students body members.”

The main reason student council looked to hold a registration event at the high school during school hours was to give students a reminder about the importance of voting along with the chance to become a registered voter.

“It was easier for students to [register] while they were in school so they don’t have to go to the secretary of state’s office,” Suchowski said. ”It is a great thing that County Clerk Gleason wanted to promote this. I also think it is part of everyone’s civic duty. If you want to be an American citizen, you should participate in the democratic process, which includes voting.”

While voting is a civic duty for Americans, many high schoolers see it as a right of passage into adulthood, a chance to impact America’s future and a way to get involved in politics.

“Having the opportunity to register made me feel like the school really wants to help us get involved in the real world,” senior Mackenzie Deputy said. “By having this opportunity, we have the chance to really change things and shape the future into how we want to live.”

The registration was also scheduled for a time where residents of Fenton Schools would have an opportunity to vote on the upcoming bond proposal on May 6.

“There are basically three areas we are looking to fund with the bond,” Suchowski said. “What we want to do is upgrade our technology, improve our security and update our buses.”

As a result of the voter registration blitz, approximately 55 students became registered voters. Gleason took the Genesee County applicants’ forms back to his office to be processed while Suchowski mailed the Livingston and Oakland County forms. Voters received registration cards in the mail approximately two weeks after registering.

Any citizen 18 or older who has not registered can print out a form at, fill it out and mail it to their county clerk’s office. Once the application has been processed, registered voters will receive a voter identification card in the mail which must be taken to the voting site.

While it is too late for voters to register for the May 6 election, they may become a registered voter for all other future elections by going to the secretary of state’s office or by filling out an application online 30 days prior to the election in which they choose to participate.