"The bipartisan support that this bill received shows that we in the legislature understand the importance of planting the seed of civic responsibility"
- Rep. Dahlstrom
(JUNEAU) - HB 496, a bill authorizing a Youth Vote Ambassador Program, passed the House of Representatives by a unanimous vote today. The bill, sponsored by Representative Nancy Dahlstrom (R-Anchorage/Eagle River), would create a Youth Vote Ambassador Program and allow it's student members to serve on election boards.
Representative Dahlstrom proposed this legislation in an effort to encourage voter awareness, interest and eventually participation in Alaska's political process by our youth. By participating on election boards, students 16 years and older would assist at the polls on Election Day. Alaska would join the majority of states in the country that already allow people under 18 to work the polls.
"Voting is one of the most important responsibilities we have as Americans. I believe it is vital that young people in Alaska learn that at an early age. Today's teens are the future of our state. It is essential that we prepare them for that role by fostering an interest in our political process," said Representative Dahlstrom.
She went on to say, "The bipartisan support that this bill received shows that we in the legislature understand the importance of planting the seed of civic responsibility."