Natalie Bartolomei brings the League of Women Voters to EHS

Reagan Stanchfield, staff writer

Historically, the League of Women Voters has worked to improve voter turnout of adults, but they are now working to engage students. Senior Natalie Bartolomei is a youth board member of the League of Women Voters Edina and is bringing the reach of the organization to students in the form of a club.

Despite its name, the organization uses non-partisan education to increase political involvement in all demographics, not just women. Bartolomei is creating a club to continue this method of education in hopes to pique the interest of high school students.

According to the New York Times, colleges across the country are working to encourage their student to vote, such as awarding schools with high voter turnouts. Bartolomei, however, has an expanded goal that focuses on political literacy for voters and high school students who cannot yet vote.

It is important to note that membership for the club is not exclusive to those eligible to vote; however, members of the League of Women Voters Edina must be at least 16 years old. “The point of the club is that when you turn 18 you have the resources you need to express yourself in government…and it’s really supposed to get teens acclimated [to] and aware of what’s going on, so they can have context for policies that are coming out and even affecting them,” Bartolomei said.

The president of the League of Women Voters Edina, Colleen Feige, also weighed in on the need she believes the club will fill. “There is a growth of student interest in voting and what’s going on in the political environment. It was the right time to go a little further on building that up,” Feige said.

Bartolomei became aware of the position when it was recommended by her AP Government teacher, Mr. Anderson. She does, however, have other ties to politics with her involvement in Model United Nations and her interest in pursuing a major in political science following her graduation from EHS.

Her interest in politics also stemmed from her father. “He was a lawyer for many years, and he worked in all sorts of law. I think the most interesting, at least to me, was immigration law,” Bartolomei said.

Because she is still only in high school, Bartolomei is using this opportunity to introduce students to politics and to spark their involvement.