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Election time is drawing near and the youth of our nation (18-29 year olds) have a chance to let their voice be heard. During the 2008 Presidential election, over 50% of voters were between the ages of 18-29. Education about voter registration and political pull is key in helping young people step up to take a political stand.
Rock the Vote, an organization that has been active for 21 years, was founded to “engage and build political power for young people in our country.” Over the years the program has registered over 5 million people to vote and kept young people informed of the issues that may affect them. The organization uses popular culture, music, technology and grassroots organizing to motivate young people to participate in the election process. They also urge politicians to pay attention to issues that are important to young voters fueling youth participation in the political process.
Democracy Class is one of the initiatives used by Rock the Vote. This one class lesson is a program designed to educate high school students about voting, elections and governance. The nonpartisan lesson uses music and pop culture to engage students. It includes a video and calls for class discussion coupled with a mock election. The lesson’s goal is to excite young voters about becoming involved in our nation’s democratic process.
According to Rock the Vote, “research has shown that civic education and early participation in elections creates a habit of ongoing engagement.” Therefore, programs such as these are helpful in promoting good citizenship and political empowerment in our youth.