Frequently Asked Questions
Why Does the Youth Vote Matter?
Young adults, ages 18-29, make up the largest block of eligible voters in the country. Seniors make up the second largest block. However, seniors tend to be registered to vote and they cast ballots in every election — much more often than young adults, which means that positions favored by youth are not always enacted.
In the 2018 midterm election, there was a push to energize the youth vote (with programs like ours) which resulted in DOUBLING the youth turnout. As a result, it was the youth vote that determined the outcome of many of the races.
In 2020, young voters have the potential to be the loudest voice in the election — which is why it’s so important to register and then to vote!
Do You Have a Voter Registration Toolkit?
Yes! A California high school student organizer created an organizing toolkit to help others. To download the toolkit, click here.
There’s also a terrific voter registration guide for college campuses through the Vote Everywhere program. To download it, click here.
Our student organizers (both high school and college) are encouraged to fill out a survey after their registration events so that their experiences can be shared with others. To check out the feedback they’ve provided, click here.
Do I Need a Team?
Yes! You’ll need help with the registration event.
To create your team, start by asking your friends. Let them know why the project is so important to you and ask for their help.
You can also check with the local chapter of the League of Women Voters to request volunteers.
Where Do I Hold the Event?
High school students: One of the best ways to host a registration event at your high school is to reserve a large room and coordinate with all of the Social Science teachers so they bring their students to the event. If you state allows pre-registration, ask the teachers to bring juniors and seniors.
College students: Host the event where thousands of students gather: a basketball game, concert, or guest speaking event. Arrange a “half time” registration drive via smart phones. Or arrange a voter registration “sit-in” at a large gathering place on campus.
Do I Need Permission for a Registration Drive at School?
Yes! Check with school administrators for rules at your specific high school or college.
This is also where the League of Women Voters can be super helpful. They know the process and rules and can also provide adult volunteers to help. To find your local League, click here.
Can Students Pre-Register?
Yes! Many states allow pre-registration. In fact, some states even allow teens to vote in local school board and city council elections.
To find out the age restrictions for each state, click here.
Do You Have a Voter Registration Presentation?
Yes! If you want to give a voter registration presentation at a local school, we have created a PowerPoint slide show to help. If you have never given a presentation like this before, we’ve added speaker notes to help guide you through the process. To download the presentation with the speaker notes included and to view sample presentations, click here.
And if you have your own presentation that you’d like to share with others, email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Why Should I Join my Local League?
To support the League of Women Voters’ important work: registering voters, protecting voter rights and informing voters on candidates and issues.
And don’t let the name fool you — the League of Women Voters is open to everyone and many leagues offer students free memberships! The League of Women Voters is sponsoring this project because they understand how important it is for our democracy to include the perspective of our nation’s youth.
How Do I Find Adult Volunteers to Help?
Contact your local League of Women Voters by clicking here.
The League can help connect you with adult volunteers. They can also assist you with getting permission to host a registration event, customize a registration presentation for your school, and provide the registration affidavits.
They also know the rules for registering in your area, can bring stickers and items to pass out, and so much more.
Can We Invite Local Elected Officials to Work as Adult Volunteers?
Absolutely, they can be introduced in the same manner all adult and student volunteers are introduced.
However, they should be restricted from having any speaking roles and should not be permitted to pass out any literature.
What is the Role of the Adult Volunteer?
The registration drives are student-led. Student organizers focus on arranging all the logistics of the event: selecting the venue, obtaining permission and handling the publicity since they have the best connection to their peers. Students also volunteer at the event.
However, adults volunteers offer critical support by mentoring the student organizers and handling the registration during the drive. Adult volunteers can also be helpful by providing a voter registration presentation at schools.
Adult volunteers can also initiate registration drives by contacting the school and identifying student organizers.
How Do Adults Connect with Students for a Registration Drive?
Start by contacting your local chapter of the League of Women Voters to find out if there’s already a registration event scheduled in your area. Click here to find your local League.
If there’s no registration event scheduled in your area and you want to help create one, click here to download our guide for tips on connecting with students in your community.
Remember that it’s best to connect with students through the help of a teacher.
Where Do I Get Registration Forms?
From your local county Registrar of Voters. However, many Registrars require training before they will give out the forms. Click here to find your local Registrar.
You may find it easier to collaborate with the local League of Women Voters chapter. The League should be able to supply the registration forms for your drive.
How Do I Learn the Legal "Do's & Don'ts" for Registration?
The best way is to contact your local Registrar of Voters and attend their training session to become certified to receive and distribute ballots. To find your local Registrar, click here. After entering your state and county, you’ll be sent to a webpage with contact information for your local Registrar of Voters.
Your local League of Women Voters can also provide you with the “Do’s and Don’ts” in your area. To find your local League, click here.
Can We Give Incentive Awards for Registering?
No! Voter registration is an optional activity. No incentives should be given to persuade a person to register.
You can offer small items like “I registered to vote,” wristbands or stickers (to remind students to get others registered). However, whatever item you pass out should be given to everyone at your event, whether they registered or not.
It’s always best to check with your local county Registrar of Voters to confirm local rules before handing anything out.
Where Can I Find Voter Info for My Local County?
Click here to access detailed voter information for your local county.
After entering your state and county, you’ll see contact info for your county Registrar of Voters, as well as important dates and information on upcoming elections, eligibility and I.D. requirements in your area. You will also be able to check your registration status, register to vote, request an absentee ballot, and access election materials.
Can We Leverage the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment?
Absolutely! Although 2020 marked the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, you may still want to consider hosting drives at your school in January & February to bring up the history of gaining voting rights and include information on the Women’s Suffrage Movement.
Some volunteers may even consider dressing in vintage women’s suffrage clothing.
January & February are also optimal months for registration drives because they are just before many state primaries which can help build momentum.
How Can I Check to Be Sure I'm Registered to Vote?
Click here to verify your current registration status.
How Do I Convince My Friends to Vote?
Great question! Rock the Vote offers a webpage with lots of tips to help young adults convince their friends to vote in the next election.
Click here to access the site.
Do You Have Any Info on the 2020 Presidential Candidates?
Yes! Click here for a list of the candidates running for President in 2020.
Read a list of their strengths and weaknesses, and find out where they stand on the issues.
You can also compare candidates to find the one who most aligns with your values.
Where Can I Find Credible, Non-partisan, Research on Youth Voting?
The Tufts University Circle (Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement) program is a renowned source of current research on youth voting and civic engagement.
Also, please see the recent research by youth Claire Zhu which can be found here.