A “Voting 101” pilot program will be debuted at Chamblee Charter High School’s “Adulting Day” on March 9.
The program will be hosted by Sen. Sally Harrell, who represents Georgia’s 40th District, in collaboration with Rep. Karen Lupton of Georgia’s 83rd District and the Dekalb County Voter Registration and Elections Office. A spokesperson from Harrell’s office said the Voting 101 program will offer high school seniors courses in tasks such as filing taxes, car maintenance, and voting.
“The Voting 101 program will instruct students how to register to vote, research candidates on the ballot, apply for and submit absentee ballots, and how to vote early [versus voting] on Election Day,” a news release stated.
The goal of the course is to “demystify and clarify the voting process for new voters and ultimately increase the number of young voters participating in our elections,” the news release continued.
Students will gain hands-on experience with the voting equipment as part of the program, but officials said the machines to be used in the Voting 101 program are used solely for training purposes and are not used during elections.
“When my kids became first-time voters, they found it to be a little intimidating and they had lots of questions,” said Harrell. “This program will take some of the mystery out of the process and create greater confidence in our youngest voters.”
Lupton is a former Chamblee councilwoman whose children currently attend Chamblee Charter High School.
“I’m very happy to be part of this program and the effort to get more young people involved in the voting process,” added Lupton.
Harrell initially proposed the idea in 2021 with Senate Bill 240, which required schools to offer curriculum on the elections process. A spokesperson for Harrell said Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan suggested a pilot program in Senate District 40, and that the Chamblee program will serve as the test case for Duncan and the state.