Student Voting Day

Senior raises funds for a bus to the polls


Alex Holmes

Tom Ray and several government students rode to the polls Friday.

Sarah Brager

Over the course of this month, senior Casper Smith has been taking action to encourage young people to hit the polls. Early voting started on October 22nd, and Casper is making sure that the voices of new voters will be heard.

Around the beginning of October, Casper and his parents set up a GoFundMe page in order to raise money to provide transportation for students who are able to vote in the upcoming election. With the help from his mom and dad, the page quickly spread around social media. It didn’t take long for them to raise $500, which was enough to pay for a bus to take students to the polls. Casper thanks his mother, who works in public education advocacy, for motivating him the get involved.

photo Alex Holmes

“The idea came earlier this year when Attorney General Ken Paxton issued an opinion statement saying that it is illegal for schools to use public funds to transport educators and students to polls. He’s basically discouraging the next generation from voting, and I think that’s ridiculous,” Casper said.

Casper emphasized that it is crucial for adults and educators to encourage students to vote, rather than discouraging them by making it harder to get to the polls. He believes that participation in the electoral process is just as important as participation in the classroom. Voting allows students who are entering adulthood to gain experience and understanding about government, and even gives them a first-hand example of the curriculum they study in government class.

Casper Smith, senior

“We need to do what we can to create a culture of voting because we are the next generation, and we are the people who are going to be in office next. It’s extremely important that we get involved in our civic duty,” Casper said.

Casper received help from parents, friends, and the school when organizing this fundraiser. He spoke very highly of the school’s support, which made it much easier to accomplish the goal.

“Everyone at this school is very supportive of voting culture, so I worked with the government teachers, specifically Mr. Ray, as well as the principal and superintendent,” Casper said.

Busses will head to the polls on Friday, October 26 during lunch periods. Friday has been declared by the Secretary of State, Rolando Pablos, as “Student Voting Day.” Casper is hopeful that students will be motivated to participate in social and political issues. His goal is to promote young voting across the country and encourage adolescents to express their opinions on affairs that they are passionate about.

“I would like to see a lot more participation from students around the country, specifically in our current political climate. I am hoping that young people will get involved with issues that have sparked them to use their voice, such as gun control,” Casper said.