Voter Registration Awareness Program Announced for MPS Students
November 2, 2015
During the 2016-17 school year, an estimated 3,800 Milwaukee Public Schools' students turn 18 and become eligible to vote in Wisconsin elections.
Recognizing the value of voting as a mechanism for encouraging civic engagement, the City of Milwaukee Election Commission, Milwaukee Public Schools, the League of Women Voters of Milwaukee County and other community collaborators have developed the My Vote, My Voice toolkit to assist MPS educators with registering students to vote and as a resource in promoting voter participation.
The toolkit, which includes a classroom curriculum, registration materials and access to other resources, will be distributed to each of MPS’ 27 high schools.
“It is inspiring to witness this type of community collaboration around something so important for Milwaukee’s youth,” Mayor Barrett said. “Election outcomes have an effect on young people in a multitude of ways, so engaging them as they become eligible to vote will contribute to a generation of knowledgeable, lifetime voters.”
The program will be launched at all MPS high schools during the fall 2015 school semester.
“This non-partisan approach to the topic of voting and civic responsibility will be very positive in the schools, both for teachers and students,” MPS Superintendent Dr. Darienne Driver said. “We support the use of over 100 schools as polling places on Election Day so students of all ages can witness community members arriving to vote in each and every election. This program will help strengthen a student’s understanding of the electoral process and possibly extend that understanding to their families and communities.”
The toolkit will include a “Pledge to Vote” card to be completed by the student at the time of registration. Volunteer members of the League of Women Voters of Milwaukee County will maintain on-going contact with students and share election dates and other information about upcoming elections.
“Our goal is to cultivate young voters in each and every election, not just the high turnout elections,” said Mary Kae Nelson, co-president of the League of Women Voters of Milwaukee County. “We want to see frequent and lifetime voters. The My Vote, My Voice toolkit provides valuable materials, but it also provides a very positive level of community support.”