El Paso County tries to get more high schoolers to cast ballots

Student registering to vote at Del Valle High School

El Paso County's Elections Department is trying to get more students to register to vote, stopping at high schools across the Borderland, including its latest visit to Del Valle High School.

Election officials are using the hashtag #RegisterToVote to encourage more high school students to register.

The county has teamed up with El Paso Sen. Jose Rodriguez’s student voter registration project to get more students of voting age signed up to cast ballots.

Some students at Del Valle said what is being said online is making them want to vote.

"Social media has, I guess you can say, made this election more popular. It's caused more kids to take an interest in politics, which is why a lot more kids are registering to vote,” Marcus Valverde, a student at Del Valle High, said.

The campaign has stretched all over El Paso County, to Clint, Coronado and Socorro high schools.

Election officials said the campaign has seen more young El Pasoans signing up.

"Overall, it has been successful. If I'm not mistaken, we've had over 700 applications from the schools. So it's been very successful so far,” Flor Lopez of the El Paso County Elections Department said.

The numbers show more than just 700 newly registered voters.

According to El Paso County elections administrator Lisa Wise, the county has gotten 847 registered student voters and Rodriguez’s campaign has gotten 277.

"I feel like it's important too because, well, we as young people, we have a say in our country's future,” Carlos Baeaz said.

“The polls are almost even, so that’s why I think people will get out and vote,” Devon Sizemore said.

The county said some students are more concerned about what's happening in the halls than at the polls.

"It's a bummer not to have everyone interested,” Lopez said. “We're trying to make everything easier for them, but some of them ... their minds are, right now at this age, they're somewhere else."

While many young people might not be signing up to vote, their mentors are.

Del Valle tutor Alexandria Levario registered to vote for the first time on Friday.

"I guess it's important because you always want them to get motivated with other things in the community,” Levario said. “Not just for us, but for everybody else."

The deadline to register is Oct. 11.

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