Students register to vote ahead of November elections


Jay Deegan

Anyone turning 18 before the November elections could register to vote on April 12 with the League of Women Voters

Claire Yung and William Tong

Naperville Central students registered to vote through the Naperville chapter of the League of Women Voters on April 12 during SOAR period in the College and Career Center. Students will have the opportunity again during SOAR on April 26. To register, students must turn 18 by Nov. 8, 2022, this year’s national general election.

Social studies teacher Mike Bochenski coordinated the registration event with the League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan organization that encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government. 

Bochenski used to register people to vote himself until the numbers of students who came to him dropped.

“I used to get half dozen, 10, 12, maybe, a year,” Bochenski said. “Then I would get three or four. Then out of sheer neglect, I let my registration material lapse and I didn’t get recertified. I always would see the League of Women Voters at our DuPage Valley social studies conference. I would talk to them, and every year we would say ‘we’re going to do this.’ This year, I said ‘we’re not going to miss this opportunity.’” 

While the League of Women Voters has previously run events at Central, this was the first time Bochenski has worked with them. It was the largest collaboration between the groups ever.

“This is the first time that I coordinated with the League of Women Voters,” Bochenski said. “There were some times that they had come in but it was spotty and it was hit or miss. Some years they would send two or three women and they wouldn’t get a big response.”

Around 50-75 students registered to vote on April 12, Bochenski said.

“That was my biggest worry, that no one would show up,” Bochenski said. “I have 10 volunteers, the whole College and Career Center ready to go to register everybody and like two kids show up and I’m like, ‘Oh my god.’ Thank god we had a good turnout. 

During the registration process, volunteers from the league asked students identifying information like name, date and place of birth, phone number and email. Students also needed to provide two pieces of identification, like their school ID card and driver’s license. Along the way, students swore an oath to the Constitution and United States. 

For many students like senior Daniel Bulpitt, the event was a very convenient way to register to vote. 

“Voting is important,” Bulpitt said. “If I didn’t do it now, I don’t know if there’s any other time that I’d be able to do it.”

In addition to the convenience, the registration process is a box everyone should check, senior Christina Ba said. 

“You’re going to have to do it at some point,” Ba said. “Why not just do it now?”

Bochenski said he plans to continue partnering with the League of Women Voters in the future. 

“Now [the League of Women Voters is] excited, and I’ve got good contacts now,” he said. “I don’t want to lose them. We’re going to do this every year, even if it kills us, so that kids can exercise their voice.”