TAMPA, Fla. — Several movements involving teens are spawning from the tragedy in South Florida. One includes the promise to get out and vote in order to see change in government or a change in current laws.
Hannah Cadozo and her friends at King High School in Hillsborough County agree voting has always been important, but believe it is even more now than ever before.
"It hits a little bit closer to home and it feels like at that time, you finally get it," Cadozo said.
Cadozo explains the shooting in Parkland opened her eyes.
"Something needs to happen, and something has to happen," said Cadozo. "People should not be afraid to go to school, they should not be fearing for their lives or wondering what to do in case of a school shooting."
"I think it hits home and it resonates with them," said Alex Gonzalez, a history teacher at King high.
Gonzalez expects more than 200 kids to register to vote during a visit from the Supervisor of Elections Office.
"Every vote does count," said Craig Latimer, the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections.
Latimer says that is a huge misconception they like to debunk when elections workers go into schools and show kids why it is their civic duty to cast a ballot, not just for national elections, but local ones, too.
"How do you like the dress code here at school?" said Latimer. "And you know [they say] oh well we don’t like it, and I say well you know that’s set by the school board who are elected officials."
Latimer says there is no shortage of teens registering, but getting them to actually vote is a more difficult task.
"The 18 to 25-year-old's make up the second largest block of voters if you break it down by age, but ironically in the 2016 election those that voted accounted for the lowest turnout," Latimer said.
But students locally think that is changing.
"The true power is in the vote, because then that goes until legislation it’s hard to change that," said King High senior Simon Carapella.
The Supervisor of Elections is heading to King High School on Wednesday, February 28 to register students.
As a reminder to parents, do not forget to send your kids out the door without a drivers license or Florida ID card and the last 4 digits of their Social Security number. They will need those two things to register.
Teens ages 16 and 17 can also pre-register to vote, even though they cannot cast a ballot until they 18.
The State of Florida now makes it easy for you to register to vote online. You can do so at registertovoteflorida.gov.