Helping Youth Rock The Vote This Month

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Staff report

Sisters Genevieve and Anika Krieger won’t be casting votes on Nov. 6. They aren’t old enough.

But the Olympic Heights students wanted to make sure their peers, who are eligible to vote, are equipped with all the information they need to hit the polls.

So, the 11th and 10th grader, respectively, decided to create First Vote.

The teens said their parents talk about current issues and politics. And they said they have seen their friends become more interested in politics and current events recently, especially after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas.

“We saw other kids starting to get curious about what was happening,” Genevieve said.

Their initiative began as a way to help get first time voters out to actually vote. But with their school being used as a polling location, they said their idea had to change into something they could do on campus while school was in session.

“We have a table where we can educate kids in our school on what the ballot is going to look like  and what to do once they are in their polling place,” Anika said.

The sisters said the voting process can be daunting especially for first time voters. So, they reached out to the Susan Bucher Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections to see if her office could help educate first time voters on the process.

“We want to negate fear by exposing everyone to it,” Genevieve said. “We want to educate all our eligible voters so they feel confident.”

Their table is non-partisan and they strive to inform their peers on the voting process.

“We are really excited to be doing this,” Genevieve said.

Ultimately, they said their goal is to expand First Vote into other schools so it is nationwide by the 2020 election.

“We want to do this by using social media,” Anika said. “Once we talk to 10 of our friends in other states, they can spread it to 10 of their friends.”

Their goal is to have First Vote in 1,000 schools by 2020.