League of Women Voters Visits Rahway High School to Discuss Elections, Civic Engagement, and the Next Generation

RAHWAY, NJ — On Tuesday, May 16, representatives of the League of Women Voters (LVW) of Plainfield visited Rahway High School (RHS) to speak with students about voting, elections, and the exercising of one’s citizenship rights. The visit was arranged by English teacher Elizabeth Graner.

The LVW is a nonpartisan, political organization founded in 1920 in the wake of women securing the right to vote with the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment. The LVWseeks “to protect and expand voting rights and ensure everyone is represented in our democracy. We empower voters and defend democracy through advocacy, education, and litigation, at the local, state, and national levels.”

Education, particularly programs, workshops, and other activities engaging young people, is a notable feature of the LVW’s work.

The school’s three visitors—Mary Kelly, Joan Peters, and Maggie Savoca—addressed a variety of concerns that highlighted the importance of voting and the value of using one’s voice to bring about change and to contribute to the political and electoral process.

The group presented a module called “The Truth About Turnout,” which is part of the LWV’s Energizing Young Voters program.

Savoca told TAPinto Rahway, “Energizing Young Voters envisions a democracy where every person has the desire, the right, the knowledge, and the confidence to participate.”

To view the slides and information that was part of “The Truth About Turnout” module shared with the students, click here.

Over the course of the presentation and the discussion that followed, some of the issues addressed included the history of American suffrage, trends in voter turnout, questions about race and ethnicity, and generational assumptions about voting, among others.

The visit was a productive and educational one that concluded with several students requesting paperwork in order to register to vote for the first time.

Elizabeth Graner, whose invitation brought the LVW to the high school on the 16th, told us, “The New Jersey League of Women Voters is an essential group of grassroots volunteers who highlight the importance of voters knowing that they play a critical role in our democracy. It is paramount that young people become and stay engaged in the electoral process so that they are adequately represented in political institutions, processes, and decision-making.”

Original article here.

Plainfield Students Learn About Voting Process, Cast Votes with Sample Ballots

By Jennifer Popper

PLAINFIELD, NJ — Students 17-years-old and up at Plainfield High School were given a crash course on how to maneuver through the process to cast their vote in this year’s primary and general elections. The two-part event taught those eligible to vote how to register to do so, and provided sample ballots that allowed them to choose their candidates in actual voting booths.

“I’m a firm believer in civic responsibility,” Supervisor of Social Studies Dr. Tristian Cox said. “We want the kids to be exposed to what it’s like to vote, why you should vote,” and, he said, to be educated on the ways to access voting. “A lot of the kids, the younger population, they don’t understand that they can vote, and they have a lot of power.”

Dr. Cox said he told students, “The people in power, you want people who look like you, so start thinking about that.”

“One of the things that research says is that kids are nervous about voting for the first time,” Dr. Patricia Supplee of Energizing Young Voters said, and she remarked the event is one of the ways to alleviate student fears.

Dr. Supplee stated some individuals thought the voting process was complicated, but were relieved to hear how simple it really is, and noted that some students who are citizens but are from other countries did not realize they are allowed to vote when they turn 18-years-old.

Important Dates

  • May 17: Voter registration deadline to vote in the Primary Election
  • June 7: Primary Election
  • Oct. 18: Voter registration deadline to vote in the General Election
  • Nov. 7: General Election

Register online to vote at https://ucnj.org/boe/voter-registration-information. Learn more about important election dates at https://ucnj.org/boe.

Original article here.

Plainfield Students to Learn Why and How to Vote

PLAINFIELD, NJ —On March 21-22, the Plainfield Public School District will host a voting event to teach students everything they need to know about voting, from registration to results. Department of Social Studies Supervisor Dr. Tristian Cox joins the League of Women Voters (LWV) in presenting students a brief history of voting in America and instructions on how to overcome any possible challenges in casting a ballot.

“Voting is our civic duty!” said Dr. Cox. “The district is excited to offer high school students this opportunity to learn how to vote and to practice casting a sample ballot using machines staffed by the Union County Board of Elections.”

The program is part of Energizing Young Voters, a LWV initiative to further civic engagement among young adults. The slide presentation and voting machine demonstration are designed to boost the confidence and skills needed to participate in the political process for the first time, and help students:

  • Understand the value of voting
  • Make a plan to vote
  • Overcome all barriers to casting a ballot

The League of Women Voters is a political grassroots network and membership organization that believes the freedom to vote is a nonpartisan issue. The Plainfield chapter meets on the third Wednesday of the month.

Original article here.

Asbury Park High School and Energizing Young Voters

Dr. Patricia Supplee and her assistant Robin Blair visited Mr. David Wronko’s Asbury Park social studies class to have the students participate in the voting rights timeline of history. The timeline showed voting rights from the colonial period to the American Revolution, the beginnings of the United States as a country, the American Civil War, Reconstruction, World War One and Two, Korean War, Vietnam War and Civil Rights era, and present day. All the students were given an avatar. Every avatar was different and represented a different kind of person. The students had to determine if they had the right to vote based on what era of history was presented on the timeline. The students were very engaged and learned a lot about voting rights throughout history, especially how it impacted women, Indigenous people, and African Americans.

Original article here.

Plainfield High School presentation

We’re so proud of the Plainfield High School students who created and gave two community presentations using our Fighting for the Vote: Timeline of Suffrage and the Student Advocate Toolkit. One presentation occurred right before the deadline for registering to vote, and the other on the evening before Election Day. Students urged the community to GOTV – Get Out the Vote! Click here to view the student presentation given at Plainfield High School.