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APIFM seeks to lower local voting age requirement

Asian Pacific Islander Forward Movement (APIFM) representatives from Alhambra High School (AHS), Mark Keppel High School (MKHS), and San Gabriel High School (SGHS) join together for the Vote at 16—San Gabriel Valley Movement.

The campaign was made with the purpose of lowering the voting age from 18 to 16 for school board elections. By doing so, students would be able to vote for school board members that will help provide support and resolve school issues. With this in mind, the representatives hope that students would be more active in school in regards to making changes.

“If students are allowed to vote, they will become more involved in how their school is run and take more initiative to make change,” Casey Kwan, KMHS senior and representative, said. “They will also develop voting habits that will result in a rise of voter participation as students get older and continue to vote in city, state, and federal elections.”

Kwan also said that the campaign would help expand student representation and influence in district matters.

“While students under the age of 18 are able to express themselves to certain extents, students are unable to voice their opinions about their school board,” Kwan said. “This [campaign] is important because the school board… need[s] to understand what the students want. Without the right to vote, students are unable to elect board members that they want to represent them.”

If these changes pass, SGHS junior and representative Anderson Ma hopes to bring up issues and improvements for the school, such as the installment of a Public Address (PA) system.

“We were talking about how a PA system would eliminate many of these problems,” Ma said. “The students could know what’s actually going on [with a PA system], where it’s another drill or an incident.”

Although there is much more to be discussed soon about this campaign, it is a change that all three schools hope to achieve for the future.

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