June 06, 2024

Get student voices heard! Help them register to vote!

Author: Kara Smith
Source:  NYSUT Communications
Get student voices heard! Help them register to vote!
Caption: The Cap, Gown & Ballot campaign is a nationwide effort to register eligible high school students to vote.

Student votes matter. That’s why The Civics Center, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, launched the Cap, Gown & Ballot campaign, a nationwide effort to make graduation season synonymous with voter registration season. The group offers a free toolkit to help educators and students run school-based voter registration drives. According to the Pew Research Center, most high school students don’t register to vote when eligible for a simple reason: they aren’t asked to.

“The 2024 general election will be one of the most influential elections in U.S. history,” said NYSUT President Melinda Person, noting that the youth vote is particularly important because decisions made today will impact the nation for decades to come. “This election will determine the values that govern our place in the world and the future of our democracy. I encourage all educators to help their students register to vote.”

In New York state, teens can pre-register to vote at 16 and cast their ballot at 18. If every eligible 18-year-old registered to vote, it would add 241,515 voters to state election rolls this year.

In this important election year, help your students make their voices heard. Get them registered to vote! To vote in the Nov. 5 general election, voter registration applications must be received by a local board of elections, or any state agency participating in the National Voter Registration Act, by Oct. 26. Visit thecivicscenter.org for voter registration resources including free webinars and social media graphics and templates.