ABOUT the INITIATIVE
The Student Voter Initiative is a non-partisan statewide student voter registration and education program. Our registrants turn out at a rate over 16% higher than all voters aged 16 to 24.
who we are.
The Student Voter Initiative is a statewide non-profit 501 (c)(4) high school education and voter registration program working to educate and empower Texas students. In 2019 we expanded our efforts on to higher education campuses, and now we are excited to offer paid Campus Ambassadorships for students currently enrolled at Texas institutions of higher education.
what we do.
We never advocate for or against specific candidates or causes--instead, we encourage students to identify issues and causes they care about and take action they believe is in the interest of themselves, their communities, and their state.
Our program works. 18-24 year olds who register through the Student Voter Initiative turn out at a rate 16.6 percentage points higher than all registrants of that age.
why we exist.
In Texas, civic engagement rates lag behind those of other states, and we are consistently ranked among the lowest states in terms of voter registration and voter turnout. Most starkly, fewer than half of all Texans aged 18-24 are registered to vote, and only 32% of Texans ages 18-24 voted in the 2016 general election compared to a national average of 43% turnout for the same age group. The Annette Strauss Institute lists “Reimagining Civics Education” as their number-one recommendation for improving Texans’ Civic Health, and it is our mission to support and supplement high-quality civics education for every Texas student.
Our curriculum was developed and reviewed by a team of classroom teachers. Each lesson plan is rigorous, student-driven, and aligned to Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards. We use cooperative learning strategies to guide inquiry into the benefits of civic engagement, which allows room for structured, thoughtful, student-led discussion about issues students care about. As we introduce new information about voter registration rates and turnout, students are challenged to make inferences and apply new understandings to solve policy-level problems. At the end of the lesson, all eligible students will be empowered to take action by registering to vote.
Every instructor with the Student Voter Initiative has undergone hours of rigorous training in instructional best practices in order to most effectively facilitate meaningful dialogue and reach all students. Further, every instructor has been deputized to register voters by County Elections Officials, and we carry our official certificates of appointment with us at all times. As representatives of the County Government, we are ethically and legally bound to uphold all laws regarding voter registration and we take pride in our responsibility to register all eligible voters.
If you'd like to join our team, you can sign up to volunteer!