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Voter registration forms will be available to Syracuse high school graduates

Tom Magnarelli
WRVO News File Photo
Corcoran High School students vote in mock elections in 2016.

Graduates from the Syracuse City School District this June will walk off stage with more than a diploma. The district is joining elections officials to make it easier for graduates to vote.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, fewer than one in four New Yorkers between the age of 18 and 29 are registered to vote. Onondaga County Democratic Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny said that’s why he’s happy the county and the Syracuse City School District are joining forces to make it easy for new graduates to register to vote.

"Right at the time they are becoming an adult and register, there’s a lot of other societal pressures out there," Czarny said. 'So getting them to register and register accurately, is always a problem. We have a captive audience, they’re there, they’re graduating.”

Syrause Superintendent Jaime Alicea said voter registration forms will be available during June  graduation ceremonies.

"Once they go through the stage and they’re declared graduates of the Syracuse City School Disrict, we are going to have a pre-printed voter card for them to sign after the ceremony," Alicea said.

All students who turn 18 before the end of the year will get the card with their personal  information, so all they’ll have to do is sign it and decide whether to register in a party or not. They don’t even have to mail it.  The district will make sure the Board of Elections gets the form. Alicea hopes making it easy to register increases the civic participation of these young people.

"We have about 900 kids walking across the stage, so if we can get 900 kids registered to vote, that will make a big difference," Alicea said.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.