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High school voter registration has increased significantly in Orange County.

Every year there are voter outreach programs for high school students in the spring and fall. More than 800 high school students have registered to vote in Orange County since January. Hundreds more younger than 18 are on the pre-registration list. Orange County said this is a record number.

Bill Cowles, Orange County’s Supervisor of Elections, said that increase in youth voting registration often happens when there is a social or political issue.

Cowles said that recent mass shootings, particularly in Parkland, may play a role in high school voter registration. The issue of gun control is what may be on the forefront of these students’ minds.

“What happened at the high school in Ft. Lauderdale or in Broward County is what heightened the interest in 16-, 17-, 18-year-olds to register to vote,” Cowles said.

Cowles said the impact high school voters will have on Florida elections won’t be fully felt until November.

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