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03/7/2019 | Strengthening Voting Rights and Democracy

New Toolkit Offers Resources to Expand High School Voting Registration

In February, CPD released a new toolkit titled, “Expanding High School Registration: A Toolkit for Local Leaders.” After more than a decade of attacks on voting rights–including efforts to blunt the power of young people and communities of color–democracy is at a crossroads. This toolkit offers resources for local leaders to proactively expand access to the ballot in order to increase the representation and build the long-term power of young people. Specifically, the toolkit includes resources to help local leaders pass high school registration policies, which require that schools provide dedicated voter registration opportunities, at least two times per year, to every student who is eligible.

The toolkit also offers guidance on how to ensure that high school registration policies are meaningful in practice: schools must partner with young people and community-based organizations to design curricula, engage students in every phase of program design, and ensure that programs are inclusive of all students, regardless of their eligibility to vote. The toolkit contains a model high school voter registration policy and model regulations; best practices for building comprehensive high school voter registration programs, which includes considerations for how to effectively engage community groups and students in the design of a successful voter registration program; and communications materials, which help local elected officials and advocates communicate effectively about the importance of student voter registration and the effectiveness of high school-based voter registration.

By passing high school registration policies, school districts can lead the way in helping to reduce generational disparities in registration and voting, and in cultivating a lifetime of civic engagement among young people. Read the full toolkit on our website.

On February 19, CPD's Voting Rights & Democracy team held a webinar to dive deep into how we expand youth voter registration. Check it out below!