High School Voter Registration Week Aims To Get la County Students Into Political Participation

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Voters wait for the polling center to open Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, at El Camino Real Charter High School in Woodland Hills. Sept. 14 is the final day for voters to cast their ballots in the California recall election. An event called High School Voter Ed

LOS ANGELES — As part of High School Voter Registration Week, high school students are holding in-person and online voter registration drives at schools across Los Angeles County and in nearly two dozen other states, a civics group announced.

Along with the effort, The Civics Center also launched the Los Angeles Future Voters Scorecard Campaign, which measures the effectiveness of school districts in increasing youth voter registration.

Laura W. Brill, the center's founder and director, said in a statement: "High School Voter Education Week spotlights the critical role educators and students have in getting young people involved in politics by registering them to vote." To help them, we offer training and tools, and we've started a Future Voter Scorecard Campaign in Los Angeles and Orange County to show school districts which ones are doing well and which ones need improvement."

The center cites US Census data that shows young people 18 to 24 have the lowest turnout and registration rates. Young people who are registered turn out to vote in presidential elections at high rates, including 86% in November 2020.

Based on the number of voters who turned 18 in the six months following the November 2020 election, the Future Voter Scorecard Campaign ranks student voter registration rates in 53 Los Angeles County school districts with high schools.

There were only eight districts in Los Angeles County that registered more than 50% of new 18-year-olds, and 11.1% of 17-year-olds registered early.

A Civics Center scorecard is distributed via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Each scorecard includes suggestions for improvement for each school district. In the Walnut Valley Unified School District and Wiseburn Unified School District in July 2021, over 90% of adolescents will register to vote. Among newly enrolled 18-year-olds, the Claremont Unified School District placed last with 25 percent. The two largest school districts in Los Angeles and Long Beach have fewer than 40% of the 18-year-olds registered.

Civics Center analyzed data from the July 2021 voter file for LA County youth born between Nov. 4, 2002, and May 3, 2003, and US Census 5-year survey data for 15- to 19-year-olds in each school district to get the percentage of youth registered to vote there.

The Civics Center and the Future Voter Scorecard Campaign are at thecivicscenter.org.

During High School Voter Registration Week, hundreds of students and teachers attended The Civics Center's free educational seminars on state registration laws and organizing nonpartisan voter registration drives. Students got a "Democracy in a Box" toolkit to help with planning, publicizing and succeeding in registration and pre-registration drives this week.

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