March 19, 2016 was New York City Student Voter Registration (SVRD), a day of non-partisan civic education and voter registration. The initiative is organized by NYC Votes, Council Member Helen Rosenthal and the City Council, the New York City Department of Education, and the New York Immigration Coalition, and it is funded by the New York City Council with support by Progressive Caucus members.
New York City residents between the ages of 18 and 30 have the lowest voter turnout and are less likely to be registered to vote relative to any other age or socioeconomic group. Only 11% of youth voted in New York City’s mayoral election in 2013. Currently, 80,000 voter registration forms a year are delivered to high schools across the city, but there is no system of follow-up to ensure that the forms are filled out correctly by eligible students or mailed to the Board of Elections.
SVRD aims to counter low youth voter turnout by giving students the opportunity to register to vote in the classroom. The overarching message of the day is that all people – and particularly young people, whether or not they are eligible to vote – can and should be involved in their communities, because politics and elections affect their everyday lives.
Students who register to vote on SVRD will be able to vote in New York’s presidential primaries on April 19th. The deadline to register to vote in that contest is March 25th. Check your voter registration status and take a moment to register to vote today.
See Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito listen to student concerns at Manhattan Center for Science & Mathematics on SVRD here.
IN THE NEWS
NBC New York, NYC Students Look Forward to Voting for First Time
New 12 Bronx, Co-op City seniors, students across NYC register to vote