This month’s Spotlight on Service features senior Katherine, who has initiated a community service project to bring voter registration drives to our campus. Working alongside the organization Vote From Abroad, Katherine has provided voter registration services at the annual TASIS Family Picnics each August. Her program has allowed American expatriates to not only register to vote, but also to request ballots for elections in the United States. Here, Upper School Service Ambassador Julius talks with Katherine about her passion for making a difference:
Julius: Could you tell us a bit about the cause you are working for?
Katherine: Vote From Abroad is an organization that aims to make it more convenient for American expatriates to request ballots and to vote from overseas. Some states don’t always send ballots overseas, even if an American expatriate is registered to vote. This organization, which holds information on voting in all districts and states, helps to ensure that those who want to vote in elections can do so. We also have forms to help new American expatriates register to vote from overseas. When families move for the first time, the last thing they may think of is voting so we try to make things easier through this initiative.
Julius: What initially drew you to this cause?
Katherine: I consider myself a politically active person, and I wanted to do something to make a difference. My dad recommended that I look into Vote From Abroad as he knows the people involved in the organization. I volunteered at another international school first, and most everyone there was European but I knew TASIS has many American expatriate families that needed to vote so I figured it would be in everyone’s interest to open a voter registration drive at School.
Julius: How has your service experience changed you?
Katherine: I am now more aware of the voting system and of the differences between states. Some states don’t send ballets overseas anymore, in a lot of cases the ballots may not arrive in time, and people might have to re-request ballots to vote. I also now know even more that every vote does matter. Despite the system, it is still imperative to vote, especially now.
Julius: Can you tell us about a special moment from your work with Vote From Abroad?
Katherine: At fairs I have worked at in the area, adults often comment on how nice and helpful Vote From Abroad is, and how great it is that I am helping them. People have also said things like, “Kids like you are the future,” which means a lot to me.
Julius: What do you plan on doing to continue working for this cause?
Katherine: I plan to bring a Voter Registration Drive to Mayfair this year (May 9), so most seniors can register to vote. I will also continue to be politically active in college.