Follow these steps and use these tools and resources to recruit and inspire high schools in your or in nearby communities to host non-partisan voter registration drives.

This Resource Guide accompanies the Senior to Senior Intergenerational Voter Registration Actions.

Third Act is thrilled to partner with The Civics Center to help make every high school graduate a voter! Every year, about 4 million Americans turn 18 and become eligible to vote, but fewer than half of them vote. But once they are registered, they do vote in large numbers. The challenge to overcome is getting students registered in time to vote in November, because the vast majority of teens in the U.S. can register before they turn 18. The solution is to register them while they are still in high school.

That’s where Third Actors like you come in! As a “senior citizen” who cares about our democracy and has long experience with voting, you can help inspire high school seniors to register and to vote. This Resource Guide includes step-by-step instructions and links to toolkits to help you do your outreach, as well as ideas for other possible local partners and background reading about the important of high school voter registration. 

Recruit high schools in your own community to host non-partisan voter registration drives for high school seniors and direct them to the Civic Center’s trainings and free “Democracy in a Box” kits. You may also recruit high schools in nearby communities or Congressional districts that may be politically strategic, while still focusing on non-partisan student voter registration. For example, some Third Actors in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Sacramento have registered students to vote in nearby Modesto. You can figure out the most strategic school districts and high schools to endeavor to reach in your area.

Here are the steps for you to recruit high schools to host a student voter registration drive:

  1. Identify High Schools: Search online to identify the names and contact information for high school administrators or civics teachers at high schools in school districts in your local community or in nearby communities.
  2. Reach Out to High Schools: Use The Civics Center’s Volunteer Toolkit (scroll to “Introduce Us” section of page) with outreach resources like sample template scripts for emails that you send to the high school administrators or educators (or use the sample emails as a script for phonecalls) to inspire them to host non-partisan student voter registration drives.
    • You will want to first inquire about whether the high school already has an existing high school senior voter registration drive. If they do, you can still share The Civics Center’s free resources. If not, you can recruit them to get started.
    • Often, an entry point is to go through the high school’s or the district’s “civics engagement” department or program.
  3. Give Confirmed Schools the Details for Voter Reg Drives: Once you have recruited the right high school person and confirmed their desire support a student-led high school voter registration drive at their school, give them the step-by-step instructions on “how to run a student-led drive.” The student will follow these steps:
    • Step 1: Ask an educator or student to join a required training for “how to run a drive at your school” and to create a “Drive Action Plan.”
    • Step 2: Get help, if you need it – find a faculty advisor, check out state-by-state resources.
    • Step 3: Register their school’s voter registration drive and upload your “Drive Action Plan” with The Civics Center so TCC can send the school the free “Democracy in a Box.”  
      • Democracy in a Box includes both physical and digital resources: posters, fliers, clipboards, pens, stickers, buttons, candy, voter ID info cards, t-shirts and a custom QR code to your school’s own voter registration portal.
  4. Questions? Check out The Civics Center’s FAQs
  5. Report Back: Complete this Third Act survey to share the list of high schools you recruited to host student voter registration drives.

In addition to these resources from The Civics Center, you may also consider finding local partners that are involved with high school voter registration in your area.

Local partners could include:

 

Learn More About High School Voter Registration

Third Act is thrilled to partner with The Civics Center to help make every high school graduate a voter! 

Join a Third Act & The Civics Center workshop on April 4, 2024 at 4 pm ET/1 pm PT and learn more about the importance of high school voter registration, the Senior to Senior program, and how you can get involved. Register here.

The Civics Center’s mission is to build the foundations of youth civic engagement and voter participation in high schools through research, education, organizing, and advocacy. Every high school graduate should understand how to participate fully in our democracy and how to register to vote. Once registered, young adults turn out to vote in presidential elections at rates approaching those of older Americans, yet most Americans are never asked to register to vote.

Enormous opportunities exist in high schools to register voters before every election. In most states, students who are 17 can register to vote right now if they will be 18 by the date of the November election. Many states, and the District of Columbia allow pre-registration beginning as early as age 16. This means that most of the ~4 million seniors graduating every year are eligible to register. High schools provide an ideal environment for this effort, before students enter the workforce or go to college.

Here are more resources: