By Phyllis Segal
I have voted in every election since I turned 21, and before that I remember going to the polls in Queens to watch my parents vote. After our children were born, my husband and I brought them to watch us vote.
They were able to cast their first votes when they turned 18, and now they bring their children with them to witness this sacred responsibility of citizenship.
From generation to generation…
What’s your family tradition around elections? And in the weeks before the Nov. 6 election, how can we encourage all young people to vote and become active citizens?
Here are four ways to nurture and foster democracy for the next generation:
1. Register voters. Repeating what they did in 1964 as college students, four volunteers in their 70s are now registering voters in Mississippi. Even if registering young voters isn’t a trip down memory lane for you, check whether registration is still open in your state and if it is, contact your local League of Women Voters to volunteer in their registration activities.
2. Volunteer to be a poll worker. According to a Next Avenue article, “There’s a chronic shortage of poll workers, and the hunt is on to find more citizens who can be counted on to show up at polling sites in November.” Check the U.S. Election Assistance Commission for the requirements for poll workers in your state and how to contact you local election office to sign up to be an Election Worker.
3. Host a debate watch party. Why not make watching the debates an intergenerational event? Invite different generations to watch candidate debates with you and talk about any differences that arise.
4. Follow young people’s lead. Every Tuesday leading up to the November 6 election, March For Our Lives issues a new call to action to young people across the United States to encourage all eligible voters to elect morally just leaders on all levels of government. Sign up to join the young people who are doing this in your community.
And check out how you can help the local, state and national organizations in the Students Learn Students Vote Coalition increase student voter participation and civic engagement.
I’d love to hear from you about your experience. Let me know at [email protected]