In the Granite State, as the Washington Post recently reported, New Hampshire House Republicans are pushing for new laws that would prohibit many college students from voting in the state—and effectively keep some from voting at all. One bill would permit students to vote in their college towns only if they or their parents had previously established permanent residency there. Another bill would end election-day registration.
The measures in New Hampshire are among dozens of voting-related bills being pushed by newly empowered Republican state lawmakers across the country. “It’s a war on voting,” Thomas Bates, vice president of Rock the Vote, rightly told the WP: “We’d like to be advocating for a 21st-century voting system, but here we are fighting against efforts to turn it back to the 19th century.”
Fortunately, at a time when states are passing some of the most sweeping voting restrictions young voters have faced in decades, Rock the Vote’s Democracy Class could help ensure that young people learn their history, register to vote and make their electoral voice heard as soon as they are eligible.
On Friday, March 23, Rock the Vote will hold its second annual Democracy Day, bringing its Democracy Class to students nationwide and helping them register to vote. Schools coast to coast are teaching Democracy Class from tomorrow through the end of the spring semester in recognition of the forty-first anniversary of the Twenty-sixth Amendment, which gave 18-year-olds the right to vote.
Democracy Class was developed to fill a gap created by three decades of cuts to civic education in public schools, at a time when almost 11,500 young people turn 18 every day and in advance of the 2012 election which will see Millennials making up nearly one quarter of the entire electorate.
Consisting of a one-period lesson plan that includes a mock election, classroom discussion, and a new video featuring Grammy award winning artist John Legend, celebrity blogger Perez Hilton, Roc Nation recording artist Bridget Kelly and Glee’s Darren Criss, the class is a nationally accredited curriculum that teachers can sign up for online for free. Tell an educator today!