Last year, the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association, the League of Women Voters of New Jersey, and the NJ Social Studies Supervisors Association proudly teamed up to organize a voter registration drive, #MyVoiceMyVoteNJ, in high schools throughout New Jersey. Through your efforts, more than 5,000 students added their names to the voter rolls and were eligible to have their voice heard at the ballot box in the 2018 elections and beyond.
I am pleased to note that this year, more students than ever will be registered to vote, as a new state law, signed by Governor Murphy, ensures that all new drivers in New Jersey register to vote as they obtain their driver’s license through the Department of Motor Vehicles. So this year, our mission becomes twofold: First, we will continue to hold registration drives at our high schools for those who do not yet have a driver’s license and are unregistered, and second, we need to educate our students in all schools on the history of our fight for the right to vote and the importance of voting in every election, the availability of voting by absentee ballot, and declaring party affiliation in order to vote in the primary.
In November, New Jersey will be electing state legislators, county freeholders and row officers, and local government and school board members, as well as answering public ballot questions that will dictate spending priorities and long-term debt accumulation. In other words, there is no “off-year election;” every election counts. That’s why I invite you to join us in this effort and participate in 2019’s #MyVoiceMyVoteNJ.
Organizing a voter registration drive can be easy and fun, and is a great way to involve your student government leaders, members of your National Honor Society, Social Studies clubs, or other school leadership groups. The League of Women Voters of New Jersey has provided important resources to help you get started and is also able to provide training to you, your staff, or your students on the many different ways your drive can be held. Remember, students who are 17 years old can register now, but will only be allowed to vote once they turn 18.
In addition, you can find resources below to hold information sessions, assemblies, and other learning opportunities for students as young as middle school to learn about the importance of voting and the power of each individual’s vote. You may also wish to participate in the NJ Mock Election, an annual event designed to develop informed voters well before they are old enough to register.
Also, as we did last year, we are happy to provide a banner and wristbands to all schools who participate in #MyVoiceMyVoteNJ, while supplies last. Please send an e-mail to Dan Higgins, NJPSA Director of Strategic Communications, at firstname.lastname@example.org, so you can once again be added as an official #MyVoiceMyVoteNJ school. At the conclusion of your drive, please tell us what activities you held and provide us with the total number of students who registered during the campaign and so that we can announce the success of the drive.
The June election will be held on June 4, 2019, and the deadline to register is May 14. Remember, students who are 17 years old can register now, but will only be allowed to vote once they turn 18.
To participate as an official #MyVoiceMyVoteNJ school, please email Dan Higgins, NJPSA Director of Strategic Communications, at email@example.com, with the following information:
Name of School
Contact Name, Title, and E-mail Address
Date(s) you plan to hold the drive or voting information session.
Please also remember to promote this program through your social media channels using #MyVoiceMyVoteNJ
Important Note: Students who wish to register must either know their Social Security Number or their New Jersey Driver’s License Number. Please be sure that students know this in advance of the registration drive date.
Request a local League conduct a voter registration drive: Please contact Pat Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 609-394-3303 to arrange for a local League to visit your students to conduct a voter registration drive.
League of Women Voters of New Jersey www.lwvnj.org
Voter Registration Forms: http://www.njelections.org/voting-information.html#vrf
Vote by Mail applications: http://www.njelections.org/voting-information-vote-by-mail.html
County Election Officials: http://www.njelections.org/voting-information-local-officials.html
Video for first time voters: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bbmod3PG8M&feature=related
Information about what’s on ballot, election dates, more: www.VOTE411.org
League of Women Voters of New Jersey toll-free voter assistance hotline: 1-800-792-VOTE (8683)