LWVPA HIGH SCHOOL VR

Strategic Objective: To reach 100% of eligible Palo Alto teens in order to register them to vote and inspire them to vote. And to become a part of the fabric of schools so that our annual visits are expected and easily scheduled.

Approach:

  • Find Palo Alto teens wherever they are--in public and private schools; in special education programs; in continuation schools, etc.
  • Whenever possible, register and inspire students in a classroom setting because research (and our experience) shows that this maximizes the number of students reached and best accomplishes the task of inspiring and educating future voters.

Method:

  • Work with schools to schedule classroom visits
  • Develop a cadre of League volunteers to work in the classroom
  • Four-five volunteers per classroom with clear roles: Team leader, presenter, data gatherer, jack-of-all-trades. The team leader brings forms, pens, voting "box" (for form collection), data sheet. The presenter gives an inspirational opening presentation about the League and voting. S/he also discusses the two most confusing parts of the VR form: Choosing a party preference, and vote-by-mail. The presenter also asks how many students are already registered (which the data gatherer records, along with the total number of students in the classroom). The team leader assigns each volunteer to work with a specific group of students on the VR form. All students are given a VR form and pen. Specific students' eligibility is never discussed aloud. As forms are completed, volunteers check them for completion. Students put the forms in the voting box. Volunteers also ask students if they are willing to "opt-in" to receive future communications from the League. Students who say yes then fill out a small "opt-in" form. Volunteers thank the teachers and congratulate the students on taking this key step toward adulthood and participation in our democracy.