About Energizing Young Voters
The suite of programs from the nonpartisan League of Women Voters and its partners motivate and equip students and young adults to vote and take action.
What We Do
Our free, non-partisan, educational experiences and leadership opportunities help turn students into citizens and reach our two major goals: Empowering young voters and defending democracy.
Guest Classroom Speaker
Who created Energizing Young Voters?
The League of Women Voters of Southern Monmouth County developed Energizing Young Voters. The program began as Fighting for the Vote, a single lesson in which students create a physical timeline of suffrage as the story is told. A second lesson was added about voter turnout. The power of both created the intention to vote among 18-29 year olds to a degree far beyond what was anticipated. From that flagship lesson, new curricula evolved with the goal of helping to remove any impediments to voting for this age group. The name also reflects the broader purpose.
Why is the program nonpartisan?
We are connected to the League of Women Voters, a nation-wide, non-partisan organization. Like the League, we do not take positions on candidates or political parties and design our lessons accordingly. The League does take positions on issues in order to further their goal of defending democracy. We, on the other hand, are issue agnostic in order to better serve our schools. Our goal is to develop critical thinking skills which help young people make considered choices about issues of importance to them from their own cultural perspectives and learn to talk across the political divide with civility.
How much time do I need to run it?
Each of our voting modules, both in-person and remote, is designed for a 40-minute class period. In schools using block scheduling, an 80-minute block is perfect for presentations of Module 1 and 2 which build on one another. Module 3 can be taught separately. Our culminating activity, Module 4, because several classes participate, runs approximately a half-day, though each class participates in the actual voting day for approximately 30 minutes. The teacher is responsible for “registering” students and discussing the sample ballot prior to the culminating experience. This is done at the teachers’ convenience.
The lessons under development to reach the second League goal, defending democracy, follow the same time limitations guidelines.
Who is the intended audience?
Our lessons can be taught from middle school through university level, depending on the lesson. In middle school, Fighting for the Vote and the voting experience have been successful. In middle school, students are introduced to the voting machine.
High school and college-age students benefit from all modules. In a slightly modified form, citizenship preparation classes benefitted from Fighting for the Vote. Other adult groups, particularly when Covid required the use of mail-in ballots that were unfamiliar to many older Americans, benefitted from our Student Advocate Toolkit.
Is there a limit to how many students I can run it with?
What are the technology requirements?
Does the curriculum comply with any core standards?
In NJ at the present time, civics is integrated into the social studies curriculum. The questions being answered in NJ Civics, Government, and Human Rights standards include the following:
- How do citizens, civic ideals, and government institutions interact to balance the needs of individuals and the common good?
- How have economic, political, and cultural decisions promoted or prevented the growth of personal freedom, individual responsibility, equality, and respect for human dignity?
We believe our lessons address these questions directly. We assume other states have similar goals.
How much does the curriculum cost?
How do I sign up for a presentation?
How do I volunteer?
Fill out our contact form and let us know what you are interested in doing and what skills you have.
How do I donate?
People have seen the value of Energizing Young Voters and wish to help by making a contribution. We accept any amount — with great appreciation — from $5.00 on up. We are working to develop the ability to donate via PayPal. At present, we accept checks made out to “LWVNJ Education Fund.” In the memo line, please write “Energizing Young Voters.” The LWVNJ Education Fund is a 501(c)3, so all donations are tax-deductible. Checks can be mailed to:
Energizing Young Voters
PO Box 272
Ocean Grove, NJ 07756
All funds are used to support Energizing Young Voters. All of our presenters and the coordinator are volunteers. Funds are used to support program expenses and 18-29-year-old interns who are committed to our goals and provide administrative assistance.