Wyoming Valley West High School obtained voter registrations from 87 percent of eligible students through Luzerne County’s new outreach initiative, county Manager C. David Pedri announced Monday.
The county election bureau launched the program in February, offering to distribute voter registration applications and informational fliers to all interested high schools and provide county election staff presentations upon request.
Most high schools accepted the material, said county Election Director Marisa Crispell.
More than 300 county residents who are 18 or will turn 18 by the May 15 primary registered to vote by Monday’s deadline — many as a result of the initiative, Crispell said.
At Wyoming Valley West, 163 of 187 eligible students registered, which qualifies the high school for a “Governor’s Gold Level Civic Engagement Award,” according to Pedri and Crispell.
The award is for schools that register more than 85 percent of eligible students, Crispell said. Wyoming Valley West may have picked up additional registrations in the days leading up to the deadline that would boost its percentage from 87 to closer to 90, Crispell said.
State officials will be scheduling a celebration ceremony for Wyoming Valley West because gold-level recipients are presented awards by the governor or secretary of the Commonwealth, Crispell said.
Anthony Dicton, Wyoming Valley West social studies department chair, spearheaded a multi-day registration drive coordinated by four student leaders, Pedri and Crispell said. Crispell said her office visited the drive, which included large lettering on the windows spelling out “vote.”
“Mr. Dicton was very active with this and motivated the students,” Crispell said. “Hopefully other schools will see this as a goal.”
Pedri has said he supported the outreach because more youth want to become involved in elections.
“It is our sincere hope that these high school students will see the power their vote has,” Pedri said in his announcement Monday.
Reach Jennifer Learn-Andes at 570-991-6388 or on Twitter @TLJenLearnAndes.