RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – A group of high school seniors are working to get their fellow 18-year-olds registered to vote in the upcoming election. They’re reaching out to school districts all across New Mexico. Many of these seniors are getting ready to vote in their first-ever elections.
“I think we as kids, we have a right, we’re a new generation, and we have the right to express our voices, no matter who you vote for, no matter how scary it is and how time-consuming it is,” said Galicia Monforte. “The world around us is changing and if we don’t have a say, if we don’t come out and have a say in voting, the world will change around us without us having any kind of impact and any kind of voice.”
Monforte is a senior at The ASK Academy in Rio Rancho. While she won’t be 18 by Nov. 3, she wants other teens registered and ready to cast their ballots. It’s why she’s organizing a virtual voter registration rally to teach them the steps.
“Right now I’m working with local law centers and the state department to try to bring a virtual rally to teach seniors how to vote,” said Monforte. “Nothing political. The meeting would just be to walk the kids through the process and kind of encourage them to vote.”
She’s reaching out to districts across the state, from Rio Rancho to Santa Fe and even to the Navajo Nation. With each school, she’s talking to principals and students about voting and getting involved.
“They all agree with me that voter registration does sound like a scary part of moving and doing some adult things, so they’re excited to have some sort of comfort when going through that process,” said Monforte. “Just to have a fellow adult to walk you through the process just makes it so much easier.”
The young students say you do have a say in how your government works. Monforte says even if you won’t be 18 by Election Day, learning how to register to vote now will help in a year or two when you can vote on local and statewide issues.
“Voting is so important for the younger generation,” said Monforte. “The policies that are going to be made for any election, we are the ones that are going to face the consequences, positive or negative.”
The virtual voter registration rally will be held over Zoom at 4 p.m. on Sept. 22, which is also National Voter Registration Day. Those interested in attending can contact Monforte by email.