1

Why Should I Vote

by wendy16
(reading level: 4)
(read time: 14-19 min.)
(views: 741)
(age rating: for all audiences)

Main ideas: The author did not tag this story with any main ideas

Summary: This workshop is designed for college students and other young people to help them think about t he reasons one should vote. The workshop is specific to the U.S. and assumes that the participants are eligible to vote. The workshop is interactive an
PHENND Training Series
Why Should I Vote?
Overview:
This workshop is designed for college students and other young
people to help them think about t
he reasons one should vote.
The workshop is specific to
the U.S. and assumes that the
participants are eligible to vote.
The workshop is interactive and
covers the history of the vote, re
asons not to vote, and specifics
of voting procedures.
Category:
Political Action, Civic Engagement
Level: All
Type:
Structured activity suitable for
an uninterrupted workshop format.
Works best in a small to medium group settings (under 20-30
people).
Goals of this Guide:
At the end of this works
hop participants will be able to:
Describe how various groups obtained
the right to vote in the U.S.
Persuade their peers to vote
Understand the policies and procedur
es around voting in the U.S.
Materials:
Post-it notes
Enough pens for all participants
Poster-size paper
How to Prepare:
Look over this workshop and make sure y
ou understand what you are supposed to do.
Prepare visuals (voting timeline on chart paper).
Brief Outline:
Why Should I Vote?:
1
 
(
http://www.fec.gov/hava/hava.htm
) also known as “HAVA,” makes the following
identification requirements on
anyone who has registered by mail, or is voting for the
first time. You must provide photo I.D. when
voting for the first time, unless you provide
your current driver’s license number or the last
four digits of your social security number
on the registration form. The ident
ification information is either:
Valid photo I.D. or a copy of a such
A copy of a utility bill, bank statement,
government check, paycheck, or other
government document showing name and address
For more information on HAVA, visit Demos (http://www.demos.org) or National
Campaign for Fair Elections (http://
nationalcampaignforfairelections.org)
Voting Absentee?
In any state, you are eligible to vote
absentee as a student. Some state sources spell
this out, others do not. Regardle
ss, the most important rule
is that you are allowed to
vote absentee if you know that you will be
absent from your county or district on
Election Day. State requirements for obt
aining an absentee ballot
vary—be sure to
check the Project Vote Smart website (
www.vote-smart.org
) for absentee info on each
state. If you are in Pennsyl
vania or New Jersey, you can
also download
PHENND’s pdf
files that contain all necessary information
on voting absentee in eit
her of these states.
Facilitators should use this time to talk about upcoming events on or near campus
where candidates or campaign
representatives will be
speaking. Emphasize the value
of learning about the candidates for loca
l elections, and recommend some ways that
students can find out more about those
candidates and their interests.
Part 6) Convince me to vote!
Suggested time: 20 minutes
Let’s do some role plays! Invite a pair of
group members to the front. In each role play,
one person will try to convince the other to
vote. Prepare note cards with the following
arguments
against
voting that the other person will re
fute. Feel free to offer brief
commentary between role plays
if you think that the pair
has addressed a particularly
important topic, or if they’ve bro
ught the discussion into new territory.
I’m not voting because politics doesn’t affect me because I’m rich. I have tons of
money because: A. My family gives it to
me. B. I still sell beanie babies on e-bay.
C. I got a huge settlement when so-and-so
hit me with his SUV (choose one.)
I don’t like any of the candidates. The on
ly person I would vote for is (Ani
DiFranco, J. Lo, David Sedaris, Chris Rock, anyone else.)
Why Should I Vote?:
6
 
Politicians don’t address the issues that
I care about, like (any of the issues
we’ve discussed.)
My vote doesn’t count; I’m only one person.
The government controls the outcome of
every election, so it won’t matter who I
vote for.
It’s too complicated. I have to fill out
some form that I don’t
know where to get
and I’m not sure who to vote
for. I’d rather just not
bother with the whole thing.
Part 7) Wrap-up
Suggested time: 10 minutes
Congratulations! You’ve finished your wor
kshop. Be prepared to distribute info on
absentee voting, voting laws in
your state, and contact information for all county
elections boards in your state as well as
directions to the polling place(s) for your
college (it may be on or off campus).
Another good way to keep in
touch with students is to get their email addresses and
send them reminders and information on sc
heduled voter education/motivation events.
Also, see if you can make a page on your colle
ge website that is devoted to voting laws,
issues, registration, and then spread the
word, encouraging people to check it out.
This guide was developed by Ellery Biddle, Summer Intern, in 2004 and was updated in 2008 by Hillary
Aisenstein, Director, of the Philadelphia Higher
Education Network for Neighborhood Development
(PHENND). Please feel free to distribute it widely
and use it in any setting you feel is appropriate.
However, if you do, please contact PHENND with any feedback. 215-573-2379 or
hillarya@pobox.upenn.edu
.
Why Should I Vote?:
7
 
Constitutional Amendments
Related to Voting Rights
Amendment XV
Passed by Congress February 26, 1869. Ratified February 3, 1870.
Section 1.
The right of citizens of the
United States to vote shall
not be denied or abridged by the
United States or by any Stat
e on account of race, color,
or previous condition of
servitude.
Amendment XIX
Passed by Congress June 4, 1919. Ratified August 18, 1920.
The right of citizens of the
United States to vote shall
not be denied or abridged by the
United States or by any St
ate on account of sex.
Amendment XXIV
Passed by Congress August 27, 1962. Ratified January 23, 1964.
Section 1.
The right of citizens of the
United States to vote in any
primary or other election for
President or Vice President, for electors for
President or Vice Pres
ident, or for Senator
or Representative in Congress, shall not be
denied or abridged by t
he United States or
any State by reason of failure
to pay poll tax or other tax.
Amendment XXVI
Passed by Congress March 23,
1971. Ratified July 1, 1971.
Note:
The Fourteenth Amendment, section 2, of
the Constitution was modified by
section 1 of the Twenty-Sixth Amendment.
Section 1.
The right of citizens of the
United States, who are eighteen year
s of age or older, to vote
shall not be denied or abridged by the United St
ates or by any Stat
e on account of age.
See U.S. Constitution
(http://www.constitutioncenter.org/n
cc_edu_Text_of_the_Constitution.aspx)
Why Should I Vote?:
8
Voter Registration and Turnout
in Federal Elections
by Age 1972-1996
(Source: Election Assistance Commission,
Voter Registration and Turnout in Federal
Elections by Age 1972-1996,
http://www.eac.gov/clearinghouse/docs/voter-registration-
and-turnout-by-age-1972-96.pdf/attachment_download/file)
YEAR
VAP
%
Registered
# Voted
%
Voted
% of Total US
Vote
1996 US TOTAL
193,651,000
65.9
105,017,000
54.23
100
18-20 Years
10,785,000
45.6
3,366,000
31
3.21
21-24
13,865,000
51.2
4,630,000
33.39
4.41
25-44
83,393,000
61.9
41,050,000
49.22
39.08
45-64
53,721,000
73.5
34,615,000
64.43
32.96
65+
31,888,000
77
21,356,000
67
20.34
1994 US TOTAL
190,267,000
62.5
85,702,000
45
100
18-20 Years
10,258,000
37.4
1,707,000
16.6
1.99
21-24
14,924,000
46
3,343,000
22.4
3.9
25-44
83,006,000
57.9
32,689,000
39.4
38.14
45-64
50,934,000
71.7
28,878,000
56.7
33.69
65+
31,144,000
76.3
19,086,000
61.3
22.27
1992 US TOTAL
185,684,000
68.2
113,866,000
61.3
100
18-20 Years
9,727,000
48.3
3,749,000
38.5
3.29
21-24
14,644,000
55.3
6,693,000
45.7
5.87
25-44
81,319,000
64.8
47,389,000
58.3
41.61
45-64
49,147,000
75.3
34,399,000
70
30.21
Why Should I Vote?:
9
65+
30,846,000
78
21,637,000
70.1
19
1990 US TOTAL
182,118,000
62.2
81,991,000
45
100
18-20 Years
10,800,000
35.4
1,990,000
18.4
2.43
21-24
14,031,000
43.3
3,082,000
22
3.75
25-44
80,541,000
58.4
32,766,000
40.7
39.96
45-64
46,871,000
71.4
26,138,000
55.8
31.87
65+
29,874,000
76.5
18,014,000
60.3
21.97
1988 US TOTAL
178,098,000
66.6
102,224,000
57.4
100
18-20 Years
10,742,000
44.9
3,570,000
33.2
3.49
21-24
14,827,000
50.6
5,684,000
38.3
5.56
25-44
77,863,000
63
42,018,000
54
41.1
45-64
45,862,000
75.5
31,134,000
67.9
30.45
65+
28,804,000
78.4
19,818,000
68.8
19.38
1986 US TOTAL
173,890,000
64.3
79,954,000
46
100
18-20 Years
10,740,000
35.4
1,994,000
18.6
2.49
21-24
15,685,000
46.6
3,788,000
24.2
4.73
25-44
74,927,000
61.1
31,003,000
41.4
38.77
45-64
44,825,000
74.8
26,305,000
58.7
32.9
65+
27,712,000
76.9
16,865,000
60.9
21.09
1984 US TOTAL
169,963,000
68.3
101,878,000
59.9
100
18-20 Years
11,249,000
47
4,131,000
36.7
4.05
Why Should I Vote?:
10
×

Log in to post a suggestion!


This story was submitted 4 months, 1 week ago.

Report story as abusive (view rules).

Comments


There are no comments here yet! Be the first to write a comment using the box above.