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Plan Pairs Diplomas and Voter IDs

Wolf, who says it is the "duty of public education to graduate an educated electorate," prescribes having the school board adopt a policy that more strongly urges students to become active voters.

The policy Wolf supports has three prongs: High schools would be required to hand out voter registration cards with diplomas; schools would promote voter registration days and work with communities to increase voter awareness; a curriculum stressing civic responsibility would be initiated at each grade level and include parents enrolling their children in preschool and kindergarten.

Wolf says she has support, most notably from the city registrar and the Virginia State Board of Elections.

Richmond's General Registrar J. Kirk Showalter could not be reached by press time for comment. A representative with the Virginia State Board of Elections did not return Style's calls for comment.

Richmond School Board Chairman Steve. B. Johnson says he agrees with Wolf philosophically but not procedurally. "I think it's a great idea," he stresses, adding: "What bothers me is having teachers or counselors spending their time filling out voter registration cards when they could be doing something else." Johnson suggests Wolf's goal can be achieved by having advocacy groups such as local chapters of the League of Women Voters, the Urban League and the Crusade for Voters give classroom presentations on the history and impact of voting. Johnson calls Wolf's push "innovative" but flawed. "The program's fine," he says. "We just need to use different people." — Brandon Walters

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