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.”