Month-long campaign to enroll new voters kicks off May 1
CEA announced today that it has partnered with the Registrars of Voters Association of Connecticut on a month-long voter registration drive in Connecticut’s high schools, beginning May 1.
The goal of the drive is to encourage all students who will be 18 years of age on or before Election Day—November 6—to register to vote. Because teachers play a significant role in their students’ academic, social, and civic engagement, CEA members are a key part of this initiative.
“Teachers know the importance of voting, whether the election involves the budget for a local town or a national education policy in a presidential election,” said CEA President Sheila Cohen. “We also know that it often takes a few years of being out of school and working in the community before individuals see the important connection between voting and what happens in their own town, state, and country.”
The nonpartisan voter registration drive, led by teachers and local registrars, seeks to ensure that students become fully enfranchised citizens who make their own choices and participate in elections on their terms. Teachers will talk to their students about civic engagement and voter responsibility and let them know about the different ways they can register to vote.
High school teachers throughout the state will be distributing “Register to Vote” stickers, produced by CEA, featuring a web address, www.cea.org/vote, that takes students directly to the State of Connecticut’s Online Voter Registration System.
Encouraged by student activism on a variety of issues this year, many young people are seeing the connection between voting and empowerment. Teachers will help facilitate that understanding. “We teach students how to think critically, stand up for themselves, and communicate with civility and persuasion,” said Cohen. “We celebrate when our students think about the world around them, find their voice, and speak out, and part of what we teach them is that voting is the cornerstone of democracy. We want students to understand that the polls can be a place to transform their hopes, dreams, and priorities into action.”
“Young people who register to vote as soon as they are eligible are more likely to vote that first time—and more likely to keep voting in the future,” said CEA Executive Director Donald Williams. “We hope that by working together on the voter registration drives in our schools, our efforts will result in enrolling as many new voters as possible.”
Cohen added, “We want voting to be a life-long habit that begins when students turn 18, just as we want our students to become life-long learners.”