La Follette High School senior votes for the first time, starts group to register other students to vote

MADISON, Wis. — Dane County Clerk Scott McDonnel said he’s seen an increase in young people wanting to participate in this election. One of the young leaders that’s becoming involved is 18-year-old La Follette High School senior Ava Kaminski.

“I can’t just sit back and not do anything about everything that’s happening in our world,” Kaminski said.

After turning 18 in late September, Kaminski said the first thing she did the morning of her birthday was register to vote.

When she received her absentee ballot in the mail weeks later, “I just looked at it and I was like you’re an adult, look at that!”

On October 16, Kaminski had the opportunity to cast her ballot with Senator Tammy Baldwin and speak about the importance of voting at a press conference with Baldwin and State Representative Sheila Stubbs.

Kaminski took her passion for voting to the next step by creating the La Follette Votes group. On the group’s Instagram page, they post about things like how to change your address when you register to vote, how to find your polling place, how to register to vote online, etc.

Kaminski said the group is led by a group of 12 juniors and seniors at La Follette High School. She said only five members are 18 years old. The rest, although they aren’t old enough to vote, are just as passionate about young voices being heard and wanted to contribute in some way.

“[We want to] put the building blocks in and make this a lasting effort and make sure that our La Follette students get registered, even when it’s not an election year,” Kaminski said. “Your government can’t do its job if you don’t do your part in our democracy.”

Kaminski said she hopes that even after she graduates, the group will be taken over by other passionate leaders to help turn first-time voters into lifelong ones.

Kaminski said she will also be working the polls on election day to get a better feel about how the voting process works. She said the money she will make on election day will go towards her college savings.