We’ve crunched the numbers: League volunteers in 25 communities registered nearly 15,000 high school and community college students to vote this past spring.
Local League of Women Voters affililates, participating in our national Youth Voter Registration Project, brought real-world civic participation to local classrooms by planning innovative district-wide registration drives and leveraging high-profile presidential primaries with one goal in mind: helping as many first-time voters as possible take advantage of their right to vote this year.
With final tallies in, we are thrilled to report that the Leagues had a banner year for youth voter registration. More than 25 local volunteer teams collectively visited 284 high schools or community/technical/vocational schools to host more than 350 individual voter registration drives. In the end, the volunteer teams handed out more than 19,000 educational materials to students and collected nearly 15,000 completed voter registration applications!
Our volunteers overwhelmingly reported that establishing strong relationships between civic organizations and school faculty and staff is the key to carrying out successful school voter registration programs in schools. Emerging student leaders who were willing to plan and carry out the programs also contributed to the registrations project’s success. In Kansas, for example, college intern Natasha Martinez spearheaded a major statewide effort to educate hundreds of young voters about their rights.
If you work for a school or community organization and are interested in starting a voter registration program, reach out to your local League of Women Voters affiliate here.
Between now and Election Day, Leagues will maintain contact with the newly registered students to share important get-out-the-vote information about what to expect at the polls, who will be on the ballot, and more. Voters anywhere can find helpful localized information from the League at www.VOTE411.org.
Now in its sixth year, the League’s national Youth Voter Registration Project has successfully registered tens of thousands of young people to vote. Through this work, we have identified important lessons for many of our partners and allies who are also working to empower young voters. Download our handy training manual here. For additional resources, visit the Teaching for Democracy collaborative.
Photo: LWV of South Bend, IN