Students Demand Action holds voter drive


Charlie Messner, Podcast Editor

Revere’s Students Demand Action club is holding a voter drive from February 20th to March 11th to register students who will be 18 by next November to vote in the 2024 general election.

In years past, Revere’s effort to encourage students to vote has extended as far as offering registration forms in social studies classrooms. However, this March, the Students Demand Action (SDA) club will hold a voter registration drive which will run for three weeks and offer participants rewards for their registration. Students Demand Action adviser Jeff Fry explained the idea behind the drive.

“We’ve done voter drives in the past just trying to register seniors to vote, and now our Students Demand Action group is looking for ways to reach out to our community and organize and get students even before they turn 18 motivated and ready to register so they will be registered when the elections come,” Fry said.

Senior Sara Tomechko and junior Neal Pannala are leading the movement. Pannala explained the club’s plan.

“We will be sending out a Google Form link which allows people to register online to vote, because what a lot of people don’t know is that you can register online, and then from there you can register from wherever. They just need to fill out some information,” Pannala said.

The email containing the form will be sent to the junior and senior class, spanning about 400 people.

“Citizen participation—citizen duty like voting—is super important now in America especially with our political climate. Being able to have an impact on your government in some way through your vote is super important,” Tomechko said.

Registration is important to SDA because the values of that club center around fighting for change.

“As news gets spread on social media outlets that kids use like Instagram and TikTok, it’s important that they know they have a voice and they can change what’s on their TikTok feed and stuff like that—change the news that they see by voting,” Pannala said.

The drive makes registration more accessible and fights the misconception that citizens must be 18 to register to vote.

“We are also trying to advertise that [although] a lot of people think they have to be 18 to register to vote… you only have to be 18 by our next election. Anyone in the senior class will be 18 by next November, so we want to let them know that they can use our voter drive to register now,” Tomechko said.

SDA offers many rewards for registering.

“The Google Form has the link, and there’s a spot where they can post a photo of their confirmation screen…  It helps to verify who is getting extra credit, because you get extra credit if you register, who is getting a donut, because you get a donut if you register, and who is awesome, because you’re awesome if you register,” Pannala said.

All social studies teachers are participating in the drive by offering extra credit to anyone who votes. As an additional incentive, the drive is a competition.

“We are [coordinating with] a similar voter drive at Copley with their own incentives, so it’s going to be a competition to see who can register the most voters… we’re going to try to make this a yearly competition,” Pannala said.

Although voter drives have been held in the past, this is the first year students have participated in organizing them.

“SDA has not held [voter drives], but I believe Mr. Milczewski has had the forms in his room before and it’s been on the announcements, but it hasn’t been advertised and spread the same way this will,” Tomechko said.

Pannala summarized the basic goals of the drive.

“We are trying to change three things about [Revere’s approach to registration]—number one, we are trying to use the online route, because it’s more convenient for people to fill things out online. Two, we are advertising it a lot more to try to get more people registered, and number three, most important, we are trying to incentivize people to register: through donuts, through extra credit, through this competition, because this is a really important thing, and we want to make sure as many people register as they can,” Pannala said.

QR codes are posted around the school, allowing students to access the form with only a few taps.