Hoping that some of you will follow suit with the young voter project
I am involved in various forms of advocacy at the municipal, state and federal levels. Among all of that excites me the most is the prospect of getting high school students registered to vote upon turning 18. I have received very enthusiastic support from both my state senator and representative. While I missed the current session (I should have acted more quickly) my rep is looking at the possibility of an amendment.
This is about civics and it really should have bipartisan support. I view voting as an obligation rather than a privilege. Getting these kids registered is a far cry from getting them to pull levers but it’s a start. Below is the text of the letter that I used. I should note that, at all levels, my meaningful response rate has more than tripled since I converted from email to snail mail.
Letters are screened by fewer people and are presumed to be more credible than those forms that you fill out on an elected official’s website. Don’t even think about faxing because it will be lost among the junk faxes generated by right wing pressure groups.
Please ensure that your envelope has a full return address including your name. Obviously, you will need to use the correct state and remove my signature token:
I am writing today to propose legislation aimed at good citizenship.
The objective is to have a process in Florida’s high schools that would cause students to be registered to vote on their 18th birthday, possibly by a guidance counselor. The cost of doing so would seemingly be negligible. The benefit, of course, is to instill in young people some of their responsibilities as citizens.
I am not so naive as to believe that registration is sufficient to get young people to vote but it’s a start and once registered they might be more inclined to show up at the polls. My understanding is that the participation rate of citizens under 25 years of age is simply awful.
Let’s do something about their apathy. Florida can address this problem with a positive approach by advancing voter registration. I cannot see how anyone would be opposed.
[The Short Gay Jew]