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Home > For Educators > K-12 Promising Approaches > Voter Registration Project

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Voter Registration Project

Grade level: 12 (students aged 17 or 18)

Promising Approaches

Instruction in Government, History, Law, and Democracy

Overview

Special Features

Civic Learning Goals

Required Resources

Available Resources

Contact Information

Overview

Voting patterns in the United States reveal that a substantial number of eligible voters decline to exercise their right. Furthermore, according to The Civic Mission of the Schools report, young people today are “distinctly less likely to vote than older generations were at the same point in their lives.” Maine has attempted to ameliorate that situation by permitting 17 year-olds to vote in primaries, if they will be 18 at the time of the election.

Lewiston High School set an objective to have between 90-100% of students registered to vote before leaving school. Evidence shows that if students are registered and some get to vote in the senior year, they are much more likely to continue voting in the future.

All students are required to have 1 credit in American Government at Lewiston High School . All students in the 12th grade American government classes are taught about voter registration. The students practice filling out photo copies of the green registration cards. They then fill out a voter registration card. The cards are checked for errors and corrected by the students. Voter registration cards are taken to the City Clerk’s office by the required date. The City Clerk notifies students of receipt of the registration card and informs them which ward they are in and where their voting place is located. Students are allowed to take registration cards home for family and/or friends to fill out and return to teacher, who submits them to the City Clerk.

Special Feature

The goal of having between 90-100% of students registered makes voter registration the norm, rather than the exception, at Lewiston High School . It also reinforces the understanding that voting is not only a civil right, but a civic responsibility.

Civic Learning Goals

Civic Knowledge: Key principles, documents, and ideas essential to constitutional democracy

Civic Skills: Voicing opinion through electoral and non-electoral means, such as voting, lobbying, protesting, and organizing.

Civic Dispositions : Developing a belief in one’s ability to make a difference· Developing attentiveness to civic matters and a desire to become involved in the civic life of the community

Required Resources

Registration cards from the City clerks or Secretary of State’s office.
Material on Voter registration processes in Maine.
A short training session (15 minutes) for teachers on filling out the card correctly.

Available Resources

City clerk or Secretary of State can provide help.
American GovernmentTextbook( MacGruder's)  has a chapter on voter registration.
Information on Secretary of State’s web site in Maine on voter registration, available at http://www.maine.gov/sos

Contact Information

Crystal Ward

Lewiston High School
156 East Ave.
Lewiston , Maine 04240

207-795-4190

cward@lewnet.avcnet.org

 

Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools: Education for Democracy