As the 2024 Election season gets underway, Third Act, in partnership with The Civics Center, is hosting a training workshop for our signature intergenerational voter registration program, Senior to Senior. Senior to Senior mobilizes elders to recruit students, educators, and local high schools to encourage pre-registration/voter registration of high school seniors.

Vicky Shapiro from The Civics Center writes about why this time is particularly important and how you can help. 


Graduation season is voter registration season!

Almost every American graduating from high school this spring is old enough to register to vote, regardless of what state they live in, and the vast majority will be 18 by Election Day. That makes spring the best time to get high school seniors registered to vote, particularly the 40% of them who will not go on to college in the fall. Only 30% of 18-year-olds are registered nationwide. For context, 75% of Americans over age 45 are registered to vote. 

Will young people who are registered turn out to vote?

Yes! Registration increases the likelihood of turnout: In 2020, a whopping 86% of registered 18- to 24-year-olds turned out to vote. And 2020 wasn’t an anomaly. Over 75% of registered young people have turned out in every presidential election going back to 2004. Voter registration is a major barrier to youth voter participation. 

Why is it so important to register young people to vote?

Young people who are not registered to vote are politically invisible. Because they don’t appear on voter rolls, campaigns, politicians, and issue-oriented groups have a harder time reaching young people to inform them about upcoming elections and how and when to vote. Politicians pay less attention to the issues young people care about, like the environment and gun safety, because young people consistently vote at lower rates than older Americans. As a result, the cycle of low turnout and less attention to the issues young people care most about continues. 

What can I do to help? 

Third Act’s Senior-to-Senior intergenerational voter registration initiative has teamed up with The Civics Center to help you encourage High School seniors to register to vote during the annual Cap, Gown & Ballot initiative, a spring campaign to give every graduating senior an opportunity to register to vote. 

During Cap, Gown & Ballot, The Civics Center is hosting nonpartisan, online workshops to help students and educators learn how to organize student-led voter registration drives in their schools. The Civics Center sends drive organizers free “Democracy in a Box” supply kits that include everything students need to run and promote their drives. 


Help Get the Word Out

You can help get the word out by tapping into your networks and neighborhoods to encourage students and educators you might know to attend a free, online workshop to get started. 

Just follow these three easy steps:

  1. Who do you know? Maybe your grandchild is in high school or your neighbor is a high school teacher or administrator? Perhaps someone at your book club, gym, or house of worship is the PTA president or a social studies teacher? Maybe your swim instructor is also the swim coach at your local high school?
  2. Email, text, post, or call them! 
    1. Scroll down on The Civics Center’s Volunteer webpage for email templates you can use to let people in your community and network know about The Civics Center’s free, online workshops. Simply copy and paste the email template into a new message, customize it, and send! 
    2. The new Cap, Gown & Ballot toolkit provides all the information you need to text someone or post on Instagram about high school voter registration. 
  3. Print this flyer with a QR code linked to The Civics Center’s “Run-a-Drive” Workshop and post it at your local library or ask a high school counselor to post it at school. Whether you know someone connected to a high school or not, you can help spread the word. 


Want to learn more about Cap, Gown & Ballot or high school voter registration? 

To learn more about Cap, Gown & Ballot, visit The Civics Center’s website, which provides a wealth of information about high school voter registration and resources for students, educators, and community members who want to know more. To learn more about high school voter registration you can also check out our founder Laura Brill’s substack.

Sign Up for the Senior-to-Senior Training

Sign up to recruit students, educators and high schools with Third Act's intergenerational voter registration initiative!

Act Now

The Civics Center

The Civics Center is dedicated to building the foundations of youth civic engagement and voter participation in high schools through education, organizing, and advocacy. We support student-led, peer-to-peer Voter Registration and pre-registration efforts in high school communities.