Christine Stuart photo

The hip-hop music was pumping as hundreds of students from Hartford Public High School’s Law and Government Academy entered the auditorium Thursday for Acorn’s Project Youth Vote rally.

Over the thump of the music, Bobby Abate, a teacher at the school, said, “I’ve never seen the kids this excited about an election.” He said over the past few months he’s personally registered about 50 students to vote. And if they’re not old enough to vote, he said they’re being asked to sign a pledge saying that they will get the adults they know to the polls on Nov. 4th

Before the end of the hour-long rally, Acorn had signed up 17 new voters.

One of the students who will be voting on Nov. 4th was senior Naiomi Serrano.

She said voting effects us economically. She said she wants to pick a president that would best serve the country and get us out of the recession. While she’s most likely voting for Democratic nominee Barack Obama, she’s committed to doing the research on Republican nominee John McCain just to make sure she makes the right choice when she gets to the voting booth.

Urania Petit, a member of Acorn and the Working Families Party, urged the students to register to vote and more importantly become educated voters. She said after becoming a citizen of the United States the first thing she did was register to vote. However, registering to vote was the easy part, she said. She said it was difficult to get information about the candidates so she could be an educated voter. She said it was even harder to go to the polling place for the first time and actually vote.

Franchista Wilson, a junior, who won’t be able to vote in the upcoming election, said she doesn’t think it’s fair that Puerto Ricans are unable to vote for president in the general election. She said if the United States is able to draft people in Puerto Rico into the military then they should be able to vote for president.

Wilson said she too is worried about the economy and if she could vote she would be leaning toward Obama, but not because he’s black or because of his stance on abortion. She said she thinks he could help turn the economy around.