Millennials have the potential to be the largest voting bloc in the United States, but are voting at a fraction of their size. Only one young person votes for every three voters ages 65 and over. This has to change. So for for my capstone, I registered SLA seniors to vote and developed several ways to get as many seniors - SLA and otherwise - to the polls as possible. I began by developing an “organization” that I named Students Vote Philly. I started a Facebook page for Students Vote Philly that I used about twice a week to send out information about primary election news and voting information. As Students Vote Philly, I did a presentation to the senior class about the primary election and gave instructions on how to register. I helped fill out online forms and I mailed physical forms. I wrote a follow-up set of instructions for voter registration that I posted on Facebook (both as my page and as myself). I also wrote an email to all of the principals of Philadelphia School District High Schools with the instruction google doc linked. Next, I layed out my strategy for actually getting seniors to the polls. As my mentor, political consultant Jefrey Pollock, told me: anyone can get a bunch of people registered, getting people to the polls is the real challenge. Based on my research, I did two things to get high schoolers to the polls. 1, Information. I sent out emails, made posts, and gave instructions about when, where, and how to vote. 2. Incentive. On voting day, I ran a photo sweepstakes. Send a photo of yourself voting to the Students Vote Philly Facebook page, and you were entered to a win a weeks worth of pizza. It worked! I announced a winner, and I gave her her prize. I finished with an “exit poll” of the SLA senior class to assess how many students registered and voted, and what they found helpful. The results spreadsheet is linked below.
I will have another registration presentation before the end of the quarter to register new voters for the primary and advise students about how to vote in college.