Here’s an important announcement if you’re connected to a NC high school – as a student, parent, teacher, staff member or administrator. County boards of elections are gearing up to fulfill a new requirement that they conduct voter registration drives in all high schools during September, which is Citizens Awareness Month in North Carolina. Some counties do a good job, but most could use a hand from community volunteers and insiders at the high school. Now’s the time to offer to help! The registration drive provides a unique chance to educate young people about the election process and to foster a life-long commitment to civic engagement. Citizens who are 16 or 17 can preregister by checking an extra box on the registration application; the completed form will be held by the elections board until the applicant reaches the age to be fully registered. Since preregistration began in January 2010, more than 60,000 16 and 17 year olds have signed up. Last week, the State Board of Elections sent a 13-page booklet to all county boards that includes a list of ideas for registration and preregistration drives (page 5). Local planning is just getting underway; use the contact info in the booklet (page 8 ) to call your local elections board and offer to help with activities for September (or call Democracy North Carolina at 919-286-6000).