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Program educates voters of future
Freshman Brooke Kicklighter waits for her turn to vote during elections Friday. - photo by Jennifer Sami

The voter registration deadline for the July 20 primary is June 21. For more information or a voter registration application, go online at, click on the Voter Registrations & Elections Department.
Nick Hancock won’t be able to vote until November’s general election. But after Friday, there isn’t much he doesn’t know about electronic voting machines.

The West Forsyth High government student was one of many in his class that helped run school’s student government elections Friday.

Instead of a hand count or paper ballots, the ninth-, 10th- and 11th-graders got to use the electronic voting machines used in the county’s elections.

“It’s a cooler way, rather than saying ‘raise your hands’ to say who you’re going to vote for,” he said. “It’s also easier for us because we used to just count them by hand, and now we can just get a printout.”

Hancock directed traffic to keep students moving through the long lines. Though student participation is required, Hancock said electronic voting may bring more attention to elections for the students.  

“I like it. It’s precise,” said Kayla Tricarico, a sophomore who used the electronic machines for the first time. “I think it’s more accurate ... the scores are calculated better.”

Betsy Brown with the county’s election office said she’s been bringing electronic voting machines to students since 2004. The program began in 2002.

The students who voted Friday won’t be old enough to vote during state elections this year, though she said they will be in a couple years.

“A lot of people who haven’t voted on voting machines have kind of this fear of the unknown,” she said. “These students, having them vote from ninth grade on, using these machines don’t have that fear.”

Scott Standifer said the process seemed official. He picked up on the technology right away, but said he was glad for the test run.

“If you don’t use the machine before you go out and vote when you’re older, you’re going to go up there and you’re going to have no idea what you’re doing,” the ninth-grader said.

Brown said a couple of students have served as county poll workers. She plans to recruit more volunteers, starting with those who helped Friday.

Regardless of whether they volunteer, Hancock said Friday’s trial run will at least get some students “interested more in the voting process.”

“There are a lot of people that come in here who don’t know what to do,” he said. “This kind of gives everybody a heads-up on what they’re going to do later in life.”